An echocardiogram is safe, because the test uses only sound waves to evaluate your heart. These high-frequency sound waves have not been shown to have any harmful effects.
If contrast material is used, there is a slight risk of having an Reference allergic reaction Opens New Window. Most reactions can be controlled using medicine.
Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) and Doppler echocardiogram
There are no known risks from a transthoracic or Doppler echocardiogram. During a transthoracic echo, the technician may have to press hard on your chest with the transducer. Tell the technician if you feel any pain or discomfort.
A stress echocardiogram can cause dizziness, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, irregular heartbeats, and heart attack.
Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) can sometimes cause:
- Mouth and throat discomfort.
- Minor bleeding.
- Trouble breathing.
- Slow or abnormal heartbeats.
Insertion of the probe may tear or puncture your esophagus. This is rare.
This test is not recommended if you have:
- Recently had radiation treatment to your neck or chest.
- Serious problems with your esophagus, such as a very narrow esophagus, dilated (engorged) veins in the esophagus that could rupture and bleed (esophageal varices), or severe arthritis of your neck.
- Trouble swallowing.
- A bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 9, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference George Philippides, MD - Cardiology