Why use an echocardiogram to look at the heart?
If you might have a heart problem, your doctor may recommend an echocardiogram. Echocardiograms use sound waves to take pictures of the heart. The images from an echocardiogram are extremely detailed. The images show heart anatomy as well as heart function. The images show how well the heart contracts and relaxes during each heartbeat, and also show how the heart valves are functioning. Because echocardiograms do not use harmful radiation to take pictures, they are safer than X-rays or CT scans.