Cardiovascular Imaging
& Diagnostics

Cardiac imaging provides pictures of your heart and cardiac vessels to see how your heart is performing. The noninvasive diagnostic tests – including X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds – help us diagnose various heart and vascular conditions. At Cardiovascular Medicine, we offer advanced imaging tests so we can successfully treat and manage all types of cardiovascular diseases.

When to See a Cardiovascular Specialist

If you are at risk for heart disease or have symptoms that concern you, our comprehensive testing can help identify any issues. Conditions that we diagnose with cardiac imaging include:


Diagnostic Testing

Our range of cardiac diagnostic tests can provide the information you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Deciding which test is right for you will depend on several factors, including your symptoms and individual circumstances. Our diagnostic testing options include:

Cardiovascular Treatments

We offer an array of procedures to treat and manage your cardiovascular condition so you can feel better. Working alongside you, we design a treatment plan that will allow you to feel better and return to doing the things you love. Our treatment options include:

Treatments :

Echocardiograhy (Ultrasound of the Heart)

What is an Echocardiograhy?

An echocardiograhy, also called an echo test, is a noninvasive cardiac imaging tool that takes moving pictures of the heart. It uses ultrasound to create images that allow us to see your heart beating and pumping blood. These images provide vital insight into the health of your heart and play an important role in diagnosing heart disease.

Ultrasound machines use a special probe that creates high frequency sound waves. The sound waves travel through your body, bounce off the heart, and return to the ultrasound machine to produce a picture. The pictures show the size and shape of your heart. The sound waves also carry important information about blood flow.

We use Doppler ultrasound to measure and assess the flow of blood through the heart's chambers and valves. Seeing how much blood your heart pumps out with each beat gives us valuable insight into your heart's functioning. Doppler ultrasound will also reveal abnormal blood flow within the heart, which can be indicative of potential issues with the heart’s walls or within one or more of the heart's four valves.

What to Expect During an Echocardiograhy

A specially trained sonographer will perform your echo test. You won’t need to do much preparation before the test. You can still eat or drink as you normally would. You should also continue to take any medications as normal, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

During the test, you will lay on a bed, on either your back or your left side. The sonographer will place a small amount of gel on the ultrasound probe and place it on different areas of your chest. The test is typically painless and has no side effects. In some instances, we may need to place an IV in your arm to administer a medication that will improve the picture quality. This contrast agent allows us to capture more detailed images; however, we do not always need to use it.

The echo test usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.


A heart ultrasound is one of several noninvasive cardiac diagnostic tests we use to assess heart issues. As such, there is no recovery period — you will be able to resume normal activity immediately. You will also be able to drive yourself to and from the procedure.

Risks & Side Effects

There are no known risks associated with ultrasound. If we need to use contrast dye, there is a slight risk of allergic reaction, though reactions are rare. If you are allergy-prone or have any concerns, please let us know.

Am I a Candidate?

Echocardiography is an extremely useful cardiac imaging test that is able to detect a number of heart conditions. If you have certain signs and symptoms that could indicate heart disease, echocardiography can provide answers we need. We also use echo tests to evaluate certain heart conditions already present, such as valve disease.

In some cases, we use echocardiography to gain a general assessment of your heart’s structure and function.

More on Echocardiography

Conditions an Echo Test Can Help Diagnose

  • Aortic aneurysm - a ballooning of part of the heart muscle or the aorta, which could rupture
  • Atherosclerosis - when arteries are clogged with fatty substances
  • Congenital heart disease - when you are born with heart structure issues
  • Cardiomyopathy - a heart muscle disease that can cause your heart to become enlarged and rigid, making it difficult to pump blood
  • Heart failure - when the heart muscle has become weakened or stiff during heart relaxation, interfering with its ability to pump blood
  • Infective endocarditis - an infection in your heart’s chambers or valves
  • Pericardial disease - a condition that affects the sac covering the outer surface of your heart
  • Valve disease - affecting the valves that connect the chambers of your heart, causing abnormal blood flow

Meet Your Illinois and Iowa
Cardiovascular Physicians

Our team of physicians, researchers, and patient care specialists are focused specifically on cardiovascular best practices and lifesaving heart and vein care. We hire and empower the best cardiovascular doctors in the nation right here in the Heartland.

Patient Success Stories

Our patients live longer, healthier and more unburdened lives, thanks to heart care that counts. Just ask them:

CVM Locations

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Our team of physicians, researchers, and patient care specialists are focused specifically on cardiovascular best practices and lifesaving heart and vein care.

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