What is an echocardiogram?

Echocardiography is created using ultrasound waves to generate an image of the heart (echo). It is a noninvasive medical technique that creates no radiation and has few negative effects.

A doctor can notice the following during an echocardiogram:

  • Chamber dimensions and thickness
  • How well the heart’s valves operate
  • The flow direction of blood via the heart
  • Whether there are any blood clots in the heart
  • Heart muscle tissue that is injured or weak
  • Issues with the pericardium, the fluid-filled sac that surrounds the heart

Doctors frequently utilize echocardiography to assess a person’s overall heart health, particularly after a heart attack or stroke.

Types of echocardiograms

Transthoracic echocardiogram

This method is similar to what is done in ultrasound. First, some gel is applied to the skin; then, the transducer is moved on the chest to transmit sound waves. The sound wave echoes are recorded from the heart, and the computer converts these echoes into images. Intravenous injection of the enhancing agent helps create a better view and see the heart’s structure more clearly.

 

What is echocardiography used for?

Doctors can use echocardiograms to:

  • Determine the heart’s ability to pump blood
  • Examine the causes of an abnormal electrical examination of the heart known as an ECG (EKG)
  • Adults can be diagnosed with heart disease, which includes inadequate pumping or stiffness of the heart muscle, leaky or clogged heart valves, and chamber enlargement.
  • Find blood clots or malignancies.
  • Pulmonary hypertension is diagnosed by measuring the pressure in the heart.
  • Detect congenital cardiac defects in babies and young children
  • Monitor the heart’s response to various cardiac therapies, such as heart failure medicines, artificial valves, and pacemakers

 

If a doctor suspects a patient has cardiac abnormalities, echocardiography will be ordered. The following signs and symptoms may suggest a cardiac condition:

  • An erratic heartbeat
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Blood pressure, either high or low
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Aberrant EKG findings
  • Heart murmurs are odd noises that occur between heartbeats.

 

Echocardiogram vs. Electrocardiogram

Echocardiography should not be confused with another diagnostic test known as an EKG. You can locate the heart’s rhythm by measuring EKG waves or electrical impulses flowing through heart muscle tissue.

With a stethoscope, you can hear the rhythmic heartbeat created by the electrical activity in the heart.

An EKG can be performed by a professional technician, nurse, or doctor by putting electrodes on the chest, skin, arms, or legs. These electrodes monitor electrical activity and feed it to a computer, translating it into a graph that the doctor may print.

 

Transesophageal echocardiogram

In this method, a more detailed image is created compared to the transthoracic echocardiogram. At first, the throat becomes numb with a spray or gel, and a sedative is used to relax. Next, a tube, which is equipped with a transducer, enters the body through the mouth and is moved to the esophagus. The transducer then records the echo from the sound waves in the heart. These echoes create more detailed images of the heart using a computer.

 

Doppler echocardiogram

Unlike traditional ultrasounds, Doppler techniques help examine blood flow and blood pressure in the arteries of the heart. In this method, blood flow is displayed in color so that the doctor can more easily determine the location of the heart problem.

 

Stress echocardiogram

In some cases, the heart arteries cannot supply blood to the heart muscle during physical activity. A stress echocardiogram helps to check coronary artery problems. In this method, the patient is asked to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike.

In general, you can resume daily activities immediately after an echocardiogram. If the electrocardiogram result is normal, you will not need to have more testing. Otherwise, you will be referred to a cardiologist.

 

What should be considered before an echocardiogram?

You will not need any special preparation to perform a transthoracic echocardiogram. But to have a transesophageal echocardiogram, you should avoid eating and drinking for a few hours before the test.

 

What are the risks of having an echocardiogram?

  Transthoracic echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure, but in the transesophageal echocardiogram, the throat may be sore during the test and several hours afterward. In addition, oxygen level is measured to check for respiratory problems caused by the sedation medication. 

 

How are echocardiogram results interpreted?

An echocardiogram is an excellent way to diagnose if:

  • The blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked
  • The heart cannot pump enough blood to the body at the proper pressure
  • Birth defects affect the normal functioning of the heart
  • The heart valves do not properly control the blood flow inside the heart
  • The walls of the heart are thick and enlarged (cardiomyopathy)
  • Infection in the walls of the heart (endocarditis)

 

Echocardiogram near me

If you live in Las Vegas, you can contact us for mobile imaging services. This way, there is no need to wait for clinic appointments because we bring state-of-the-art computed radiology technology to your home. So not only will you get accurate and fast results, but you will also be less at risk for other diseases. 

You can get information about other Home Health services.

Echocardiogram in las vegas

2 Comments

  1. Macklin-00 says:

    Yeah, I recommend their service. They are quite good with what they do.

    (5/5)
  2. Ashly says:

    Thorough guide about echocardiogram. Thumbs up.

    (4/5)

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