Cardiologists these days, as well as patients, often agree on non-invasive diagnostics tests to, help the Cardiologist to determine the exact problem with a Patient’s Heart, with no side effects. An ECHO or Echocardiogram, as it is commonly called, allows the Doctors to get a comprehensive picture of the Patient’s Heart while in action. The dynamic videos of the Cardiovascular System focus on the Heart and its chambers. This picture is much more detailed than a plain X-ray, and there is no danger to the Patient through exposure to radiation unlike X-rays. It not only helps in detection of different Heart diseases, but can even be used to track the efficacy of the medication and treatment prescribed by the Doctor. Echocardiogram services are described next.
These services can be classified as follows.
- Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE): the ultrasound creates live motion pictures of the Cardiac structure and function, using Doppler and Color Doppler to produce sharp images and to analyze blood flow patterns.
- Stress Echocardiogram: The dynamic images of the Heart under conditions of Stress of Exercise are displayed by ECHO.
- Three Dimensional (3D) Echocardiogram: Algorhythms, backed by the latest software packages, construct a three dimensional image of the Heart, which can be manipulated to provide a realistic glimpse into its workings, and detect faults and defects.
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
Actually quite similar in nature to USG, as used to , say, create an image of a child inside the mother’s womb, the image tracks the functions of the Heart by manually moving around an ultra sound transducer to varied sites on the abdomen back or chest, to get the picture of all component structures of the Heart from different angles. A water soluble gel is used as a sound conductive medium, and is dabbed on the patient’s body to various locations as selected by the Sonographist in order to create an all round image.
The patient does not hear or feel the ultrasound waves, and it is generally considered a mildly pleasant experience by the patient. On occasion though, in order to enhance the image, it becomes necessary to insert an intravenous connection to administer tiny gas bubbles, which may be considered slightly unpleasant for the patient but does not require any analgesic support. In short, ECHO is non-invasive, does not have side effects, is pleasant, and produces an extraordinary image and analysis for the Cardiologist to help guide the Heart Patient to safety.