What is it?
An echocardiogram or ‘echo’ is a scan that uses ultrasound (sound waves) to produce pictures of the heart. The test is painless and does not use radioactivity. During a contrast echo a contrast agent (dye) is injected through a cannula (small plastic tube) in your arm which improves the quality of the images that are being recorded.
Why do I need it?
If your doctor has decided that you need an echo, but the picture is not of a high enough quality to be diagnostic, then a contrast agent can be used to help improve the image quality.
A contrast echo can therefore be useful to establish the pump function of your heart, or help diagnose if you have a clot in your heart.