An Echocardiogram, or cardiac ultrasound, is a common test used to evaluate heart function. The cardiologist can evaluate heart size and the strength of the heart "pump", and can make sure the heart valves are functioning properly. A wide variety of heart abnormalities can be detected using this test, and echocardiogrms are used to follow progress after treatment of a heart condition as well. This information can be obtained quickly and painlessly, and it is very helpful to your doctors in determining the condition of your heart.
The test is performed by a registered cardiac technologist and is interpreted by a specially trained cardiologist. No special preparation is required on your part. You will recline comfortably on a bed, usually on your left side, while images are obtained using a probe that is applied to the chest wall. The test usually takes about 30 minutes to perform. The post processing and interpretation of your test will be done after you leave, and a report will be available promptly.
This test includes real-time 2D (2 dimensional) images of the heart structures, as well as Doppler of the heart valves to check for blood flow abnormalities; in some cases newer 3D (3 dimensional) technology is utilized.
We hope this has been helpful, but should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office at (203)265-9831 and ask for the Testing Department.