An echocardiogram (echo) is an ultrasound test that images the moving heart. A cardiac sonographer will move a hand-held device called a transducer over the chest area. High-frequency sound waves are sent to the heart and transmitted back to the ultrasound machine as live moving images. This technology provides your doctor with a comprehensive evaluation of the heart’s function and structure, including the chambers and valves.

Strain imaging evaluates the function of the heart muscle (myocardium) using cardiac ultrasound. This method is used to identify subtle changes in heart function.

Why is an echocardiogram with strain imaging performed?

The test may be used to:

  • Screen and follow patients who receive cardio-toxic medications during cancer treatment
  • Evaluate patients who have received radiation to the chest
  • Evaluate and monitory patients with cardiomyopathy (i.e. hypertrophic, ischemic), heart failure (i.e. pre and post bi-ventricular pacemaker implant), pericardial disease

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/29/2019.

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