An echocardiogram is a technique for examining the heart using ultrasound. The standard echocardiogram is also known as a transthoracic echocardiogram or TTE wherein transducer or probe obtains images from different spots on the chest and abdomen.  The images provide information on: In addition an echocardiography can also asses the velocity and direction of blood flow at different points within the heart using Doppler principles. This provides additional information on: In cases where the images are suboptimal due to the patients body size or the presence of lung disease, ultrasound contrast agents consisting of gas-filled micro bubbles can be injected to improve visualization of the cardiac structures.
Except for showering before the appointment, no preparation is necessary.
Abraham Salacata, MD, FACC