What is an Echocardiogram?

Echocardiogram, often referred to as Cardiac Echo or simply an Echo is a sonogram or ultrasound of the heart (This is different from a ECG/EKG).  It uses sound waves to create images of the heart.  It allows us to look for structural (how the heart is built) or functional (how the heart squeezes or relaxes) problems.  

Why might my child need an Echocardiogram?

An Echo has many uses.  In children with murmurs it can help us identify if there something different about the heart that is the cause.  

If your child presents with symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations, dizzziness or fainting, it can help identify if there is something about the heart's sructure or function that is causing it.  

Some children are referred because of someone in the family having an issue with their heart and we are looking to see if your child has any of the same problems.  

Some genetic problems may be associated with heart problems that we may need to look for.  

Why might my child need a Stress Echo?

A stress echo can help determine the cause of symptoms that are related to exercise.  It can also be used to show that a child's heart is safe for exercise and look for conditions that are brought on by exercise.

In this test your child will be made to run on a treadmill with a gradual increase in speed and incline and we will evaluate them by Echo before and after they have exercised to their limit.