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Dr. Phillips
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. Dr. Patel, can you tell us how this test is done and what it can tell providers about the heart?

Dr. Patel
Absolutely, Dr. Phillips. The picture created using echocardiography shows the size and shape of the heart and how well the heart chambers and valves are working.

An echocardiogram can't be used by itself to diagnose coronary artery disease but it can reveal signs of the condition. For example, it can pinpoint areas of heart muscle that aren't contracting well because of poor blood flow or injury from a previous heart attack.

Echocardiography can also detect possible blood clots inside the heart, problems with the aorta, and fluid buildup in the sac around the heart, called the pericardium.