Echocardiography

Echocardiography

Echocardiogram, often referred to cardiac echo or simply an echo is a sonogram of the heart. (It is not abbreviated as ECG, which in medicine usually refers to an electrocardiogram.) Echocardiography uses standard two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound to create images of the heart.

Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests in cardiology. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart (internal chamber size quantification), pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage. An Echocardiogram can also give physicians other estimates of heart function such as a calculation of the cardiac output, ejection fraction, and diastolic function (how well the heart relaxes).

Echocardiography can help detect cardiomyopathies, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, and many others. The use of Stress Echocardiography may also help determine whether any chest pain or associated symptoms are related to heart disease. The biggest advantage to echocardiography is that it is noninvasive (doesn't involve breaking the skin or entering body cavities) and has no known risks or side effects.

Not only can an echocardiogram create ultrasound images of heart structures, but it can also produce accurate assessment of the blood flowing through the heart, using pulsed or continuous wave Doppler ultrasound. This allows assessment of both normal and abnormal blood flow through the heart. Color Doppler as well as spectral Doppler is used to visualize any abnormal communications between the left and right side of the heart, any leaking of blood through the valves (valvular regurgitation), and to estimate how well the valves open (or do not open in the case of valvular stenosis).

Echocardiography was also the first ultrasound subspecialty to use intravenous contrast. (See Contrast Echocardiography)

Echocardiography is performed by cardiac sonographers, cardiac physiologists (UK) or doctors trained in echocardiography.

Read more about Echocardiography:  Transthoracic Echocardiogram, Transesophageal Echocardiogram, Stress Echocardiography, Three-dimensional Echocardiography, Contrast Echocardiography, Sonographer Credentialing, Physician Credentialing, American Society of Echocardiography

Other articles related to "echocardiography":

Catherine Otto - Selected Publications
... Textbook of Clinical Echocardiography, 4th Ed ... Atlas of Intraoperative Transesophageal Echocardiography Surgical and Radiologic Correlations ... The Practice of Clinical Echocardiography, 3rd Edition ...
Valve Of Inferior Vena Cava - Echocardiography
... The Eustachian valve is frequently seen with transthoracic echocardiography from the parasternal long axis, the apical four-chamber and the sub-costal four-chamber views ... The Eustachian valve better seen with transesophageal echocardiography in the bi-caval view and right sided horizontal and longitudinal views ...
American Society of Echocardiography
... The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) is a professional organization made up of physicians, sonographers, nurses, and scientists involved in the field of echocardiography ... The American Society of Echocardiography is an organization from which sonographers and physicians may obtain Continuing Medical Education Credits, as well as interact with other health ... known as the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE) which highlights important educational and research advances in the field of ...
Atrial Fibrillation - Diagnosis - Minimal Evaluation - Echocardiography
... Significant enlargement of both the left and right atria is associated with long-standing atrial fibrillation and, if noted at the initial presentation of atrial fibrillation, suggests that the atrial fibrillation is likely to be of a longer duration than the individual's symptoms. ...
Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology - Echocardiography (TTE and TEE)
... Echocardiography produces a real-time image of the heart via ultrasound imaging, and can be performed in two or three dimensions ... There are two ways of performing echocardiography depending on placement of echocardiography probe transthoracic or transesophageal ... In transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), the probe is placed over the patient's chest wall, while in transesophageal echocardiography (TEE or TOE in ...