Cardiac Echo


Cardiac Echos, otherwise known as echocardiograms, are a very useful tool in the dianosis and management of various heart conditions.

The list of indications for this test includes:

  • Investigation of abnormal heart sounds
  • Investigation of enlarged heart
  • Investigation of chest pain
  • Investigation of shortness of breath or palpitations
  • Looking for congenital heart defects or success of repair of same

Things that can be seen on cardiac echo include:

  • Structure and function of heart valves
  • Assessment of function of artificial valves
  • Size and shape of heart chambers
  • Size and shape of heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
  • Efficiency of heart pumping (ejection fraction)
  • Tumours or blood clots inside the heart
  • Fluid around the heart

This technology is combined with Doppler studies. Doppler technology can see how the blood flows through the heart chambers, heart valves and blood vessels, and in the process measure its speed and pressure changes as it does so. This way we do not just see the structure of the heart but its function too.