Echocardiogram is a procedure to look closely at the Heart. It can also be called a Cardio ECHO or a sonogram of the heart.

It is a test to evaluate the Cardiovascular function of someone along with the Pulmonary Circulation . It is essentially a specialized ultrasound of the heart and it uses techniques to form a two-dimensional image of the heart.

The picture is much more specialized and advanced over an X-ray. Some new technology allows a 3D view.

The Echo is performed by a trained cardiac sonographers or Cardiologists and is often very useful in detecting Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Is considered mostly a non-invasive procedure and doesn’t involve any breaking of the skin or entering a body cavity [except the alternate form discussed below].

 

Uses:

–  Detects Cardiovascular Diseases
–  Imaging the heart
–  Assess the velocity of blood and tissue
–  Determines size of heart
–  Assess cardiac valves functionality
–  Possible leaking of blood through valves
–  Evaluation of ejection fraction

 

The Process

–  While laying on back or left side
–  Typically you start on your back and may be asked to roll onto your left side
–  A gel will be placed on your chest
–  Echocardiography Transducer or probe is placed on Chest Wall
–  Ultrasound takes images through the skin

 

Risks or Side Effects

–  Minimal

Types

1.)  Transthoracic Echocardiogram

–  This is the standard type

2.)  Transoesophageal Echocardiogram

–  Alternative way for the Echocardiogram
–  A probe containing a ultrasound transducer
–  Probe is passed through the esophagus
–  Doppler image can then be recorded.

3.)  3 – Dimensional Echocardiography

–  Ultrasound probe plus a specialized transducer

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