Cardiac Imaging - Echocardiography
Echocardiography (echo) enables your cardiologist to see the structure of your child's heart from the outside. Echocardiography is painless, but it can be scary for some children. The test uses sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the heart and blood flow patterns.
The most common type of echocardiogram is a transthoracic study. This test takes about 45 minutes. Your child will lay on a bed and a clear gel will be applied to the chest to help the hand-held transducer wand move across the chest.
Over 15,000 echocardiographic exams are performed each year at Vanderbilt. Specialized tests, including fetal echocardiograms, transesophageal echocardiograms and stress echocardiograms are completed here at Children's Hospital.
Your doctor may request sedation to keep your child calm and still for imaging tests. If sedation is prescribed, your child must go without food or drink for a number of hours. Our team has special training to understand the unique sedation needs for children and teens.
Contact the pediatric echocardiography laboratory at (615) 936-2481 if you have questions or concerns.
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