Information about echocardiography
What is an echocardiography?
Echocardiography (or cardiac ultrasound) is a non-invasive test which allows visualization of the heart. In summary, ultrasound mechanical waves produce a real-time image of the heart and its macroscopic characteristics such as the size of its structures (anatomy) and their operational performance (physiology). These images can help us investigate a patient’s symptoms, monitor response to treatment, or even define a more effective treatment. This study is stored and may serve as a reference point for the patient over time. For this reason, it is important to ensure accuracy and high quality when it comes to detecting any damage/ change with precision, reliability and speed. This is particularly important in the investigation of valvular heart diseases, but it also concerns all heart diseases that can be studied.
How is echocardiography performed?
The echocardiography is performed with a device, called transducer which first emits high frequency sound waves (ultrasounds) and then receives the reflected waves from the body’s tissues. The ultrasound probe is placed on the chest and ultrasound waves are emitted through the intercostal spaces to the heart chambers and valves.
Safety of echocardiography
Ultrasounds have been studied extensively for decades and there are no side effects or complications associated with this procedure. There are no particular contraindications for echocardiographies. They are generally well tolerated by patients, inexpensive and without specific complications.
Duration and preparation
There is no special preparation for echocardiography. The duration of the test varies depending on the technical difficulties and the difficulty level of the problem, but even a typical study takes about half an hour to be completed.
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