Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound)

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An echocardiogram (or ‘echo’) is a special test that uses ultrasound (sound waves) to take pictures of the heart. Learn about how they are done, and how to help your child prepare for one. 

Key points

  • An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test of the heart performed by cardiac sonographers or physicians and interpreted by specialized cardiologists.
  • Heart rhythm stickers (electrodes), an ultrasound camera and ultrasound jelly over the chest and stomach are used to take pictures of the heart.
  • This test lasts between 30 minutes to 90 minutes or more. 
  • A child needs to lie still during the test, so some children may need to be sedated or put to sleep for the test.
Last updated: May 4th 2021