Cardiac (or heart) imaging tests are used to screen for heart disease. They can determine what is causing your symptoms, monitor your heart and find out if your treatment is working. Common Cardiac imaging procedures include CT Coronary Angiography, Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring, Heart MRI (Cardiac MRI) and Echocardiography. Our specialist Radiologists supervise or perform these diagnostic procedures in collaboration with our healthcare team.
Echocardiograms (also known as an ‘echo’) are often undertaken for cardiac imaging. An echo uses ultrasound (sound waves) to produce an image of your heart. No radiation is involved. Your heart muscle, valves, large blood vessels and blood flow can be assessed in great detail. Echocardiography provides your doctor with information about the blood pressure within the chambers of the heart and lungs. Echocardiography is not dangerous and does not involve radiation or X-rays. You should not feel pain or discomfort. Cardiac imaging services are provided through our IQ network.
You do not need to specifically prepare for an echocardiogram.
A technician will place small metal disks called electrodes on your chest. These electrodes have wires which attach to the ultrasound machine. This machine monitors your heart rhythm during the test. To image the heart, the technician will press firmly as he or she moves the transducer across your chest and will ask you to briefly hold your breath during the test. For most of the test, you will be required to lie still.
An echocardiogram may take up to 45 minutes to perform.