What is a transthoracic echocardiogram?

During a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), a technician obtains views of the heart by moving a small instrument called a transducer to different locations on the chest or abdominal wall. A transducer, which resembles a microphone, sends sound waves into the chest and picks up echoes that reflect off different parts of the heart.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/17/2019.


  • DeMaria A.N., Blanchard D.G. (2011). Chapter 18. Echocardiography. In V. Fuster, R.A. Walsh, R.A. Harrington (Eds), Hurst's The Heart, 13e. Retrieved 2/16/2016 from www.accessmedicine.com 7/30/2018.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is echocardiography? Accessed 7/30/2018.
  • Hegland DD, Jackson KP, Daubert JP. Chapter 8. Electrophysiologic Mapping. In: Pahlm O, Wagner GS. eds. Multimodal Cardiovascular Imaging: Principles and Clinical Applications. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011. library.ccf.org Accessed 7/30/2018.

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