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Diagnostic Ultrasound  ›  Cardiac Echo

Cardiac Echo

Cardiac Echos, otherwise known as echocardiograms, are a very useful tool in the detection and management of various heart conditions. They are still ultrasounds using special waves and special software to create images and see the real time movement of the heart. This technology is combined with Doppler technology which 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.

The list of indications for this test includes:

  • Investigation of abnormal heart sounds, murmurs

  • Investigation of enlarged heart

  • Investigation of chest pain

  • Investigation of shortness of breath or palpitations

  • Investigation of congenital heart defects

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

PREPARATION REQUIRED FOR A CARDIAC ECHO:

No particular preparation is required for this investigation but be aware the examination is done from the anterior chest wall so wear appropriate clothing to give ample access the area.

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