An echocardiogram uses sound waves (much like an ultrasound) to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than an x-ray image and involves no radiation exposure. The images help to determine the size of the heart, strength of the heart muscles, presence of heart diseases, and heart valve malfunctions. The images of the heart are shown on the large screen monitor that allows the doctor and the patient to view during examination. Echocardiograms are routinely used in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases.