Who Should Have an Echocardiography

By: Armughan

An Echocardiography is actually the Ultrasound of Heart, this ultrasound produces sound waves and one can have moving picture of heart. This procedure does not involve any radiations and it gives more detail than X-ray. It is a good diagnostic tool for Valvular heart diseases, evaluating pumping function of heart, i.e ejection fraction, in heart attack patients. It is also a good screening test for certain heart disease. However, there are some situations or diseases that one should have an echocardiography test.

Following diseased patients must have an echocardiography. These are the situations in which an echo may influence the clinical management of a patient.

Assessment of valve function, e.g systolic or diastolic murmurs
Assessment of left ventricular function, systolic diastolic and regional wall motions, e.g suspected heart failure in a patient with breathlessness, or preoperative assessment.
Suspected Endocarditis
Suspected Myocarditis
Cardiac Temponade
Pericardial Disease (e.g Pericarditis) or pericardial effusion, especially if clinical evidence of temponade
Complications of myocardial Infarction, eg MR VSD or pericardial effusion.
Suspicion of intracardiac masses- tumour or thrombus
Cardiac chamber size e.g Left atrial size in atrial fibrillation (AF), Cardiomegaly in chest X-ray.
Assessment of artificial valve function.
Arrhythmias, e.g Atrial fibrillation, ventricular techycardia (VT)
Assessment of right ventricle and right heart
Estimation of intracardiac and vascular pressures, e.g pulmonary artery systolic pressures in lung disease and suspected pulmonary hypertension
To find out cardiac source of embolism in stroke and transient ischaemic attack patients.
Exclusion of left ventricular hypertrophy in hypertention
Assessment of congenital heart diseases.
These abnormalities are just few and most common that an echo can reveal. For details you may contact your doctor.

What can I expect during an echocardiogram?
Often when you visit a Cardiologist, your doctor suggests you for echocardiography of your heart. It is basically the ultrasound of Heart to diagnose various diseases of heart. With the help of sound waves moving picture of heart can be taken.

Echo is a painless and simple procedure without involvement of any radiations. There are no known hazards or risks associated with echocardiography. When you are going to echo room, you will be asked to lie down on a bed and disrobe from the waist up. Doctor or echocardiographer will place electrode on your chest to record ECG during echocardiography. Small amount of gel is applied on your chest and then a small transducer will be placed near the sternum on your chest. Transducer produces sound waves towards the heart.

Echocardiographer may apply some pressure during echo on your chest with transducer. You may be asked to turn your side to left or right depending upon your technician position. You may be asked to hold your breath to take high quality pictures. Then technician will move transducer to different parts of chest to take picture of heart from different angles. Sometimes a dye may be injected before taking echo, as occasionally lungs ribs body tissue prevents sound waves to reach heart muscles. If your heart beat is too fast, then echo may give false result, so echo is avoided in fast tachycardia. A typical echo is performed in about 30-45 minutes. If you have a lung disease, obesity, restlessness or breathlessness, may result in longer test duration. During test, printed pictures are taken by technician from echo machine and later examined by a cardiologist.

Who should have an Echocardiography? Article written by Dr. Armughan Riaz M.B.B.S Dip Card. To Know more about High Blood Pressure
and cardiovascular diseases please visit our site.

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