echo aAn echocardiogram is used to diagnose known or even suspected heart disease. An echocardiogram can assess the heart size, shape, pumping capacity, tissue damage and heart function, which are all vital for cardiac disease detection.  This procedure is widely used and very reliable for the detection of heart problems. During an ultrasound, a device is held against the skin surface and sound waves are sent into the body and echo back to the device. The benefits of ultrasound are that it is non-invasive, painless, widely-available, inexpensive, safe (does not involve ionizing radiation), shows detailed images, and most of all, risk-free.