• What is a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)?

    A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is the most common type of echocardiogram test. An ultrasound probe is placed on the chest in a number of positions near the heart and sound waves are reflected off the muscles and tissues of the heart to creat a moving image on the screen.

  • How is a TTE performed?

    You will be asked to remove any clothing covering the upper half of your body and be offered a hospital gown to cover yourself up during the test. 3 electrodes will be attached to your chest and will be used to monitor the heart rhythm during the test.

    Lubricating gel will then be applied to your chest and an ultrasound probe will be used to obtain the pictures. The procedure is not painful but you will feel some pressure on the chest as the probe is pressed down to obtain high quality pictures.

    The whole procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and you can go home immediately afterwards. The procedure is safe without the requirement of the administration of any medication. There is no specific preparation required prior to a TTE.

  • Why do I need a TTE?

    Prof Ruparelia may recommend a TTE to better characterise the heart, its structure and function. Specifically a TTE can provide the following detailed information:

    • Cardiac function (and damage after a heart attack)
    • Heart failure
    • Valvular heart disease
    • Congenital heart disease
    • Heart muscle abnormalities
    • Fluid around the heart
    • Pressures within the heart