An echocardiogram often is referred to in the medical community as a cardiac ECHO or simply an ECHO. An echocardiogram is a sonogram of the heart. Also known as a cardiac ultrasound, it uses standard ultrasound techniques to image two-dimensional slices of the heart.
Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests in cardiology. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart, pumping capacity and the location and extent of any tissue damage. It not only allows doctors to evaluate the heart valves, but it can detect abnormalities in the pattern of blood flow, such as the backward flow of blood through partly closed heart valves, known as regurgitation. By assessing the motion of the heart wall, echocardiography can help detect the presence and assess the severity of any wall ischemia that may be associated with coronary artery disease.
Echocardiography also helps determine whether any chest pain or associated symptoms are related to heart disease. An Echocardiography can also help detect any cardiomyopathy, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, as well as others. The biggest advantage to echocardiography is that it is non-invasive (doesn’t involve breaking the skin or entering body cavities) and has no known risks or side effects.
For further information about this service and consultation, please make an appointment by calling BIMC Hospital on 761 263.