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Routine Adult & Paediatric Echocardiogram


Transthoracic Echocardiogram (ECHO)
A transthoracic echocardiogram is the most common type of echocardiogram. This test uses ultrasound to get images of your heart and related structures such as…

The purposes of this test are to:

  • To assess the structure of your heart and how well it is working.
  • To determine how strong your heart muscle is as well as how blood flows through your heart and valves.

Sedated Paediatric Echocardiogram (1 month to 3 years old)
Children between the ages of 1 month to 3 years old need to be sedated for the test. Allow 2 to 3 hours for sedation studies.  The paediatric heart doctor (Cardiologist) may decide that sedation is not needed and cancel it at their discretion.

For sedate paediatric echocardiogram at Credit Valley Hospital: A pre-sedation consultation with a Paediatrician must be done within 3 weeks prior to the test. If a family doctor is ordering the study patients must be referred to the paediatric medicine clinic at Credit Valley Hospital for the pre-sedation consult.

Resources for Patients & Their Families

How to Prepare for Your Test

If you are an adult, you do not need to do anything to prepare for your test. 

If your child is having the test and is 1 month to 3 years old and being sedated you need to do the following to prepare:

  • Children that are being sedated must not have food, milk or formula for six hours prior to their appointment time.
  • Breast milk is allowed up to four hours prior and clear fluids or water are allowed up to two hours prior to the appointment time.
  • Once your child wakes up in the morning try to keep them awake.
  • Bring a favorite blanket or pacifier or anything else that may help your child go to sleep.

If your child is having the test and is 4 to 17 years old no preparation is required for. 

Allow one hour for the test.  For younger children bring something that will help them lay still for the hour.

What to Expect During Your Test

  • You will be asked to lie down on an examination table in a dark room.
  • The test will be performed by an Echo Sonographer who will apply a Vaseline-like gel to your chest to help move the transducer. The transducer will provide images of your heart.  
  • Your test will take from 30 to 60 minutes