It is a non-invasive examination performed to assess cardiac anatomy and function. Ultrasound technology helps us to study the dimensions of the heart, the physiology of blood flow as well as the function of the heart valves.
What is it;
An electroacoustic probe is placed on the chest wall, sending harmless sound waves to the heart and other structures of the chest. These waves, when they interact with heart structures, send reflections back to the surface of the body which are recorded by the detector. With the help of technology these reflections are converted into an image on the screen of the ultrasound machine and allows us to directly analyze the image.
During the test you will be asked to undress from the waist up and lie on the bed usually in the left side position with your head resting on the left elbow. The adhesive electrodes will be placed on your sternum to continuously record the electrical activity of the heart. Images will be obtain from different views in order to have a complete picture of the heart and large vessels. The continuous or pulsed Doppler method helps us to analyze the blood flow through the valves and the large vessels of the heart. The whole process takes about 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the case.
The analysis of the images and measurements will be done at the end of the examination and you will be given a written report with the findings and conclusions.
Where is it used?
Cardiac ultrasound is a very useful examination tool because compared to other imaging techniques for the heart, ultrasound is harmless to the patient and quickly and effectively detects any pathological conditions in the heart. It is usually used to assess:
- The size of the heart. Hypertrophy of the heart as well as the increase in the dimensions of the heart chambers can be the result of severe valvular disease or unregulated arterial hypertension.
- The left ventricle ejection fraction of the heart. That is, the ability of the myocardium to adequately pump the oxygenated blood it receives from the lungs to the peripheral tissues.
- The extent of cardiac muscle damage after myocardial ischemia. Parts of the myocardium that do not contract normally may be permanently damaged by an old myocardial infarction or have been injured due to partial occlusion of the coronary arteries.
- The severity of possible valve stenosis. The presence of extensive calcification of the valve and reduced opening of the valve leaflets is an indication of severe stenosis.
- The characterization of abnormal blood flow through the valves (regurgitation) whether this is due to physical wear or due to acute damage.
- Abnormalities of the heart structure in case of invasive diseases (tumors), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or congenital heart diseases.
- The presence and characterization of possible valve vegetations in case of endocarditis
- The presence and the description of a thrombus in the heart
- The indirect measurement of blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs
- The structure and function of the right ventricles of the heart
Please contact us in case you need personalized detailed clarifications. This examination is performed in our office with the existing modern equipment.