Echocardiography is the study of heart and function using sound waves (ultrasound).

2D Surface Studies

This is done by moving an ultrasound transducer to various locations on your chest, back or abdomen in order to image each structure of the heart from various viewpoints. An echocardiogram can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart, pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage

3D Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

Transesophageal Echos are ultrasound images of the heart obtained by inserting a 3D probe into the esophagus. This procedure allows the Cardiologist to see the heart from a different viewpoint internally. TEE studies are conducted at OTMH only. 

Exercise Stress Testing

A stress echocardiogram allows doctors to see how your heart looks and performs when it is under the stress of exercise.  Exercise stress echo studies are performed at OTMH only. 

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography

A dobutamine stress echo is an alternative to an exercise stress echo when patients are unable to perform the physical activity of pedaling. A drug called dobutamine is injected to mimic the effect of exercise on the heart.  Dobutamine stress echos are performed at OTMH only. 

Preparing For Your Procedure

2D Echo and Colourflow Doppler
  • No preparation
  • Children between the ages of 1- 3 years may require sedation
Transesophageal Echo
  • Nothing to eat or drink from 10:00 p.m. the night before the test. An Echo technician will phone and confirm  this with you
  • Make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the test, as sedation will be given
  • Bring a list of your current medications.

Ordering Criteria

The Cardiac Care Network offers an Echocardiography Quality Improvement Program (EQI) that provides guidelines related to all aspects of the echocardiography facility, from the background and training of the medical and technical staff, to requirements for the type of equipment used, to minimum standards for Quality Improvement (QI) to guidelines outlining testing appropriateness. Please find a list of common indications and appropriateness criteria for echocardiography below.