For inpatients and outpatients whose physicians have noticed irregularities in heart function, our Cardiac Diagnostic Services Department provides electrocardiograph monitoring and evaluation. It evaluates chest discomfort, shortness of breath, anti-arrhythmic therapies, and pacemaker function. It also helps physicians confirm reports of heart palpitations and poor blood supply to the heart.
ECHO (Echocardiography – Adult and Pediatric)
An echocardiogram (also called an ECHO) is a type of ultrasound test that is used to diagnose cardiovascular diseases. It sends high-pitched sound waves through a device called a transducer, which picks up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off different parts of your heart. These echoes are turned into moving pictures of your heart that can be seen on a video screen.
ECHOs are done for variety of reasons:
- To look for the cause of abnormal heart sounds (murmurs or clicks), an enlarged heart, unexplained chest pains, shortness of breath or irregular heartbeats.
- To check the thickness and movement of the heart wall.
- To determine how well the heart valves are working.
- To determine how well an artificial heart valve is working.
- To measure the size and shape of the heart's chambers.
- To determine cardiac performance (the ability of your heart chambers to pump blood) as well as the ejection fraction (the fraction of blood pumped out of a ventricle with each heart beat.) You might have a low ejection fraction if you have heart failure.
- To detect a disease that affects the heart muscle and the way it pumps, such as cardiomyopathy.
- To look for blood clots and tumors inside the heart.
The following types of echocardiography tests are provided at our facility:
- Adult resting transthoracic echocardiography is the most common type of ECHO. Views of the heart are obtained by moving the transducer to different locations on your chest or abdominal wall.
- Pediatric resting transthoracic echocardiography
- Adult Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) testing. For this test, the probe is passed down the esophagus instead of being moved over the outside of the chest wall. TEE shows clearer pictures of your heart because the probe is located closer to the heart and because the lungs and bones of the chest wall do not block the sound waves produced by the probe. A sedative and an anesthetic applied to the throat are used to make you comfortable during this test.
For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 443-718-3000.