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Echocardiography

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Cardiac Doppler Echocardiogram with Color Flow Analysis - Ultrasound of the Heart

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Echocardiography (echo or echocardiogram) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves to produce an image of the heart. The sound waves are sent through a device called a transducer and are reflected off the various structures of the heart. These echoes are converted into pictures of the heart that can be seen on a video monitor.
 

There is no special preparation for the test.
 


Philips HDI 5000 - Scan in progressYou will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and will lie on an examination table on your back. Electrodes will be placed onto your chest to allow for an ECG to be done.

A gel will be spread on your chest and then the transducer will be applied.

You will feel a slight pressure on your chest from the transducer.

You may be asked to breathe in a certain way or to roll over onto your left side.
 

An echocardiogram generally is used to evaluate heart wall thickness anEnVisor Imaged motion, as well as the structure and function of the heart valves. Echocardiography can also be used to estimate the amount of blood pumped out of your left ventricle with each heartbeat (ejection fraction).

Echocardiography can help identify areas of poor blood flow in the heart, areas of heart muscle that are not contracting normally, previous injury to the heart muscle caused by impaired blood flow, or evidence of heart failure, especially in people with chest pain or a possible heart attack. In addition, echocardiography can detect a blood clot in the heart, evaluate the heart valves for abnormalities, and identify pericardial effusion.

 

A Doppler echocardiogram is an ultrasound technique used to evaluate the flow of blood through the heart chambers, heart valves, and blood vessels. The movement of red blood cells reflects sound waves to the ultrasound transducer. Doppler echocardiograms create a representation of your blood flow from these sound waves.
To produce blood flow images, the ultrasound computer measures the direction and speed of the blood flowing through your heart and blood vessels by comparing normal (stationary) echoes to the echoes that have been altered by blood movement. Doppler measurements may be displayed in black and white or in color.
Doppler echocardiography can be done during a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), or a stress echocardiogram.