An echocardiogram is a noninvasive test that uses reflected sound waves off the heart to determine its size, structure, and function.
The effects of exercise on the heart can be assessed using a stress echocardiogram. In this test, an echocardiogram of the heart is taken at rest and then another after you exercise on a treadmill. Both echocardiograms are recorded on a computer so that your doctor can look for changes in the wall motion of your heart. Areas of the heart that do not move as much after exercise show the doctor that they are not getting enough blood containing oxygen.