What board exam is the correct Echo Boards Exam for you?    The National Board of Echocardiography (NBE) offers echocardiography board exams individualized for the unique practice of cardiology, cardiothoracic anesthesiology, and critical care medicine specialties.

The first step to certification is to make sure you sign up and prepare for the correct exam. The NBE website is more confusing than it needs to be when it comes to the certification process.

KEY POINT: Passing the Exam does not confer BOARD CERTIFICATION!

Once you pass the exam, you must meet certain requirements for Board certification. Please see the individual exams below to see which certifications are linked to which exam.

Cardiology Fellows should prepare for the ASCeXAM®

The ASCeXAM® is referred to as the Examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography by the National Board of Echocardiography (NBE).

It is intended for those who wish to demonstrate competence in all areas of echocardiography. This is the exam you must take if you wish to be board certified in:

  • Comprehensive Echocardiography (c) — includes all 3 certifications: transthoracic, transesophageal and stress
  • Transthoracic Echocardiography (t) –transthoracic certification ONLY
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography (te) — this is for cardiologists and is for transthoracic and transesophageal certifications
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography (e) — This is one way for cardiothoracic anesthesiologists and cardiac surgeons to obtain transesophagel certification. Please see the PTExam below for the more common certification pathway.
  • Stress Echocardiography (ts) — this includes transthoracic and stress certifications.

According to the NBE, the 2017 Pass Rate for the ASCeXAM® was 83%.

According to the ASCeXAM® Handbook the exam is broken down into the following main topics:

  1. Physical Principles, Instrumentation, Examination Principles
  2. Valvular Heart Disease
  3. Chamber Size and Function
  4. Congenital Heart Disease
  5. Cardiac Masses, Pericardial Disease, Contrast, and New Applications
  6. Miscellaneous Topics (Role of Echo)

Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellows should prepare for the Advanced PTEeXAM

The Advanced PTEeXAM is also referred to as the Examination of Special Competence in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography. It is intended for those who wish to demonstrate special competence in advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography.

The 2017 Pass Rate for the Advanced PTEeXAM was 84%.


What is covered on the Advanced PTEeXAM?According to the NBE Advanced PTEeXAM Handbook, the exam covers the following topics:

  1. Principles of Ultrasound
  2. Transducers
  3. Equipment, Infection Control, and Safety
  4. Imaging
  5. Principles of Doppler Ultrasound
  6. Quantitative M-Mode and TwoDimensional Echocardiography
  7. Quantitative Doppler
  8. Valvular Spectral Doppler Profiles
  9. Cardiac Chamber Anatomy
  10. Global Ventricular Systolic Function and Pathology
  11. Segmental Left Ventricular Systolic Function and Pathology
  12. Cardiac Valves – Anatomy and Pathology (Excludes Spectral Doppler)
  13. Intracardiac Masses and Devices
  14. Pericardium and Extracardiac Structures– Anatomy and Pathology
  15. Assessment of Perioperative Events
  16. Congenital Heart Disease
  17. Artifacts and Pitfalls
  18. Related Diagnostic Modalities
  19. Ventricular Diastolic Filling and Function
  20. Transesophageal Echocardiography for Interventional/Hybrid Procedures

Anesthesiologists who are not fellowship trained should take the Examination of Special Competence in Basic Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography (Basic PTEeXAM)

Basic PTE CertificationThe examination of special competence in basic perioperative transesophageal echocardiography.

This examination is intended for those who wish to demonstrate special competence in basic perioperative transesophageal echocardiography.

[Scope of Practice: The application of a basic perioperative TEE examination is limited to non-diagnostic use within the customary practice of anesthesiology. Because the goal of and training in basic PTE is focused on intraoperative monitoring rather than specific diagnosis, except in emergent situations, diagnoses requiring intraoperative cardiac surgical intervention or postoperative medical/surgical management must be confirmed by an individual with advanced skills in TEE or by an independent diagnostic technique.]

Critical Care Physicians should take the Examination of Special Competence in Critical Care Echocardiography (CCEeXAM)

NBE is in the development stage for certification for Critical Care Echocardiography.   This is an exciting development and demonstrates the increasing importance of echocardiography in the critical care setting.

Information about this exam is sparse at this time. As more information is released we will update our site.