Appointments

800.659.7822

Request an Appointment

Questions

800.659.7822

Contact us with Questions

Expand Content

Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)

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 echos that reflect off different parts of the heart.

There is no special preparation for the TTE.

What happens during a TTE?

  • During a TTE, you will lie on your back or on your left side on a bed or table.
  • Small metal discs (electrodes) will be taped to your arms and legs to record your heart rate during the test.
  • A small amount of gel will be rubbed on the left side of your chest to help pick up the sound waves.
  • The transducer is pressed firmly against your chest and moved slowly back and forth.
  • The echos from the transducer are sent to a video monitor that records pictures of your heart for later viewing and evaluation.
  • The room is usually darkened to help the technician see the pictures on the monitor.
  • At times you will be asked to hold very still, breathe in and out very slowly, hold your breath, or lie on your left side.
  • The technician will move the transducer to different areas on your chest that provide specific views of your heart.
  • The test usually takes from 30 to 60 minutes.

What happens after the test?

When the test is over, the gel is wiped off and the electrodes are removed.

Are there any side effects?

There are no known risks from a TTE. However, during the test the technician may have to press hard on your chest with the transducer. Tell the technician if you feel any pain or discomfort.

References
Reviewed: 01/12

This information is about testing and procedures and may include instructions specific to Cleveland Clinic. Please consult your physician for information pertaining to your testing.

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

Schedule an Appointment

Toll-free 800.659.7822

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2015 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

HealthHub from Cleveland Clinic

Read the Latest from Our Experts About » cctopics » Heart & Vascular Health
Why Controlling Anger Is Good for Your Heart
4/1/15 8:27 a.m.
A newly published study confirms what people have suspected for years – that getting very angry is bad for your heart. The study, published in February in the European Hear...
by Heart & Vascular Team
Dark, Milk or White – Which Chocolate Is Best for Your Heart? (Infographic)
3/31/15 7:00 a.m.
Chocolate is good for blood flow, which means it’s good for your heart. But not all chocolate is created ...
Predict Your Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke
3/30/15 8:30 a.m.
How likely are you to have a heart attack or stroke? A simple blood test can help predict your risk. The PLAC® ...
Cleveland Clinic Receives Heart Failure GOLD Recognition
3/30/15 6:00 a.m.
Since 2011, Cleveland Clinic has received the GOLD Certification from the American Heart Association’s Ge...
Obese Children Have Greater Risk for Adult Heart Disease
3/27/15 7:00 a.m.
For many people, obesity starts developing in early childhood, when good dietary and exercise habits are neglec...