Echocardiography is a painless test that uses sound waves to create assets/images of your heart. It provides your doctor with information about the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart’s chambers and valves are working.
The test also can identify areas of heart muscle that aren’t contracting normally due to poor blood flow or injury from previous heart attack(s). In addition, a type of echocardiography called Doppler ultrasound shows how well blood flows through the chambers and valves of your heart. Echocardiography can detect possible blood clots inside the heart, fluid buildup in the sac around the heart (pericardium), and problems with the aorta (the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood out of the heart).
Your doctor may recommend echocardiography if you’re suffering from signs and symptoms of heart problems. For example, symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling in the legs can be due to weakness of the heart (heart failure), which can be seen on an echocardiogram.
Doctors also use echocardiography to see how well your heart responds to certain heart treatments, such as treatment for heart failure
3-D echocardiography is now possible, using an ultrasound probe with an array of transducers and an appropriate processing system. This enables detailed anatomical assessment of cardiac pathology, particularly valvular defects, and cardiomyopathies. The possibility of slicing the virtual heart in infinite planes in anatomically appropriate manner and reconstruct 3dimensional assets/images of anatomic structures make 3D echocardiography unique for understanding the congenitally malformed heart. (Ref: Impact of Multiplanar Review of Three-Dimensional Echocardiographic Data on Management of Congenital Heart Disease.