Echocardiography Laboratory Overview

The Echocardiography Laboratory at Mayo Clinic is a state-of-the-art center, with a tradition of clinical excellence, education and innovation. The teams in the Echocardiography Laboratory at Mayo Clinic perform more than 100,000 outpatient and inpatient echocardiographic studies a year.

Staff in the Echocardiography Laboratory at Mayo Clinic has unique expertise and experience in performing echocardiography studies. Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota each offer an echocardiography laboratory. Staff at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota also performs or reads studies at more than 20 centers throughout the Midwest, including some Mayo Clinic Health System locations.

An echocardiogram is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to produce detailed images of the heart's size, structure and function, as well as detailed images of the heart's valves. An echocardiogram may also be used to measure the heart's blood volume and the speed and direction of blood flow through the heart.

Tests performed in the Echocardiography Laboratory include a test performed on the surface of the chest (transthoracic echocardiogram), a test performed using an ultrasound camera inserted into the esophagus (transesophageal echocardiogram), as well as exercise and medication-induced (dobutamine) stress studies. Staff also provides echocardiographic guidance during complex interventions in the catheterization laboratory (interventional echocardiography), as well as during open-heart surgery (intraoperative echocardiography).

The Echocardiography Laboratory offers imaging tests including 2-D and 3-D echocardiography, as well as complex Doppler studies that doctors may use to check the blood flow and pressures inside the heart. These complex studies may eliminate the need for invasive measurements of pressures in many people, avoiding the risks and costs of heart catheterization.

The Echocardiography Laboratory also offers evaluation of vascular health in blood vessel studies, allowing staff to detect early changes related to atherosclerosis. The Echocardiography Laboratory offers carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) testing and tests of other indications of vascular function, including aortic pulse wave velocity and brachial artery reactivity. These tests, along with a clinical evaluation, help doctors tailor each person's medical care and lifestyle counseling.

Not all services may be available at all locations.

Sept. 29, 2020