Maxa Internal Medicine

3505 Duluth Park Lane
Building 4, Suite 400
Duluth, Georgia 30096

Telephone: 678-597-3180
Fax: 678-597-3181

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678-597-3180

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart. The picture is more detailed than a standard x-ray image. An echocardiogram does not expose you to radiation.

Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)

TTE is the type of echocardiogram that most people will have.

  • A trained sonographer performs the test. A heart doctor (cardiologist) interprets the results.
  • An instrument called a transducer is placed on your ribs near the breast bone and directed toward the heart. This device releases high-frequency sound waves. Images will be taken at other locations as well, including underneath and slightly to the left of your nipple and in the upper abdomen.
  • The transducer picks up the echoes of sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses. The echocardiography machine converts these impulses into moving pictures of the heart. Still pictures are also taken.
  • Pictures can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional. The type of picture will depend on the part of the heart being evaluated and the type of machine.
  • A Doppler echocardiogram records the motion of blood through the heart.

An echocardiogram allows doctors to see the heart beating. It also shows the heart valves and other structures.

In some cases, your lungs, ribs, or body tissue may prevent the sound waves and echoes from providing a clear picture of heart function. If this is a problem, the sonographer may inject a small amount of liquid (contrast) through an IV to better see the inside of the heart.

Related Information

Convenient Duluth Office

Our office is located in Duluth, Georgia at the corner of Duluth Park Lane and Postal Drive directly across the street from the Duluth branch of the Gwinnett Public Library and located behind the Duluth Post Office.