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An Echocardiogram is used to evaluate heart wall thickness and motion, as well as the structure and function of the heart valves.
Blood flows from the veins into the right upper chamber (right atrium) of the heart through the tricuspid valve into the right lower chamber (right ventricle) of the heart. The right ventricle contracts to pump blood through the pulmonary valve into the pulmonary artery and, subsequently, to the lungs. Oxygen-rich blood flows from the lungs through the left upper chamber (left atrium) and the mitral valve of the heart into the left lower chamber (left ventricle) of the heart. The left ventricular muscle contracts to pump blood out through the aortic valve into the aorta, a large blood vessel carrying blood out of the heart, to the rest of the body. An echocardiogram uses ultra high-pitched sound waves to produce an image of the various structures of the heart.