Our Services

Echocardiography (ECHO)

Description of Services

Echocardiography is a safe, noninvasive ultrasound procedure that uses sound waves to obtain a detailed picture of the heart. Echocardiographic studies are performed to define the cardiac anatomy, investigate for any cardiac defects or abnormalities and define, when possible, pulmonary artery pressures in patients with suspected pulmonary vascular disease.

The Echocardiography Laboratory is equipped with the most advanced diagnostic echocardiographic equipment and staffed by highly trained sonographers and physicians. Each year, the Echocardiography Laboratory performs more than 6,000 studies, including:

  • Transesophageal echocardiography during heart surgery procedures
  • Stress echocardiography
  • 3-D echocardiography
  • More than 1,000 fetal echocardiograms per year at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

Through the Children’s Hospital Telemedicine Network, children who are born at or who live near one of Children’s ambulatory care centers or partner sites can have echocardiograms done at those offices and have them reviewed and interpreted by pediatric cardiologists in the Echocardiography Laboratory.

View the patient procedure sheet about echocardiogram (ECHO) at Children’s Hospital.


Referral Requirements

Referrals are required from primary care physicians or other Children’s Hospital specialty services. Referrals for patients enrolled in managed care insurance plans also may require authorization from the insurance provider and primary care physician. All necessary referral and authorization forms must be received before the patient’s visit. For accurate provider numbers or more information, please call the office number.

The Echocardiography Laboratory needs the following information prior to performing the study:

  • Patient’s age
  • Date of birth
  • Reason for referral
  • Any medical contraindications to sedation
  • Preliminary clinical diagnosis
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Last Update
December 4, 2012