An echocardiogram or 'echo' is used to characterise the heart and nearby blood vessels. Echocardiography uses ultrasound waves to create a picture of the heart. It can be used to assess a number of cardiac structures and function including:

  • Cardiac function (and damage after a heart attack)
  • Heart failure
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart muscle abnormalities
  • Fluid around the heart
  • Pressures within the heart


The study can be performed by placing an ultrasound probe on the chest wall (transthoracic echocardiogram - TTE) or by placing a probe into the oesophagus (transoesophageal echocardiogram - TOE). Please click on the below icons for more information with regards to each of these investigations:

Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)

Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE)