Echocardiography (Echo) at the Heart Institute at Children's

What is an Echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram (echo) is a safe, noninvasive test that uses sound waves to get a detailed picture of the heart.

Your child's doctor may order an echo study to:

  • Define the cardiac anatomy.
  • Look for any heart defects.
  • Measure — when possible — pulmonary artery pressures in children with suspected pulmonary vascular disease.

Description of Echo Lab Services at Children's

At the Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, our Echocardiography Lab offers the most advanced diagnostic echo equipment and highly trained sonographers and doctors.

Each year, our lab performs more than 6,000 studies, including:

  • Transesophageal echo during heart surgery.
  • Stress echo.
  • 3D echo.
  • Fetal echocardiograms (over 1,000 per year) at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

Through the Children’s Hospital Telemedicine Network, children who are born at or live near one of our ambulatory care centers or partner sites can have echocardiograms done at those offices. Then, pediatric cardiologists in the Echo Lab can review and interpret them.

Echo Lab Referral Requirements

The Echocardiography Lab at UPMC Children's Hospital requires a referral from your child's primary care doctor or Children's Hospital specialist.

Patients enrolled in managed care insurance plans might also need authorization from their health insurer and doctor.

Before we can perform an echo study, please have your child's doctor provide us with the following:

  • Patient’s age.
  • Date of birth.
  • Reason for referral.
  • Any medical contraindications to sedation.
  • Preliminary clinical diagnosis.

We must receive all referral information and authorization forms before your child's visit.

To find correct provider numbers or learn more about our echo services, contact the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's at 412-692-5540.

Learn More About Echocardiogram

View our echocardiogram (echo) patient procedure sheet.