An echocardiogram is a painless and non-invasive test used to look at the heart and blood vessels. It is a type of ultrasound scan, which uses high-frequency sound waves to take detailed images of the moving heart to evaluate its structure and function.
In transthoracic echocardiography, an ultrasound transducer or probe is placed on the chest. This transducer sends sound waves which enter and travel through the chest cavity. When these waves meet the heart and other surrounding organs, it is reflected back. These reflected waves are known as echoes.
The echoes will travel back to the same ultrasound transducer where it is received and converted into images of the moving heart.
Transthoracic echocardiography is very safe, and it is one of the most commonly used tests in cardiology.