Types of Echocardiograms

An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultrasound waves to show the structure of your heart and how it works. The sound waves create moving images, enabling your specialist to observe your heart size and shape. A Port Saint Lucie echocardiogram can show blood flow and your heart valves and chambers. Doctors can use an echocardiogram to check if you have a heart or valve condition and monitor whether specific treatments are effective. Since an echocardiogram does not involve radiation, specialists can use it to detect heart irregularities in your unborn child. There are various types of echocardiograms, depending on the condition your doctor wants to check. These tests include:

Transthoracic echocardiography

Transthoracic echocardiography is the most commonly used echocardiogram. The test involves your healthcare provider placing a device called a transducer on the chest over the heart. The transducer sends ultrasound waves to your heart, a video screen interprets the sound waves, and live images are shown on a monitor. Transthoracic echocardiography helps your doctor to track your heart’s electrical activity.

Transesophageal echocardiography

Transesophageal involves your specialist guiding a small transducer through your mouth to your throat. The specialist will numb your throat with an aesthetic gel or spray to avoid a reflex gag and pass the transducer through your esophagus. This test gives your doctor a detailed view of your heart and heart chamber that is not visible in the transthoracic echocardiography.

Stress echocardiography

Stress echocardiography is similar to a transthoracic test, but your specialist views images after you exercise or take a specific medication that makes your heart beat faster. It enables your provider to test how your heart works under stress. Stress echocardiography can also show signs of heart failure and high blood pressure. The test takes about twenty to thirty minutes, but it may vary depending on how long you respond to the medication or exercise.

Three-dimensional echocardiography

Three-dimensional echocardiography uses transesophageal or transthoracic echocardiogram to create 3-D images of the heart. Your specialist creates these images from different angles. Doctors can use three-dimensional echocardiography to diagnose heart conditions in kids or before heart valve surgery. The test also shows how well your heart pumps blood. Your doctor can inject you with a contrast agent to get more detailed pictures. 

Fetal echocardiography

Doctors can use fetal echocardiography in expectant mothers between eighteen to twenty-two weeks of pregnancy. This test involves your specialist placing a transducer over your abdomen to check for heart issues in your unborn baby. The test is similar to transthoracic echocardiography, but the wand is passed over your belly. A fetal echocardiogram does not involve radiation; hence safe for the unborn child.

Doppler echocardiogram

Doppler echocardiogram detects sound waves’ pitch changes when they hit your heart blood cells. Doppler signals allow your specialist to measure blood’s speed and flow direction in your heart. Doctors use Doppler echocardiogram in transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography. Your provider can also check blood flow and blood pressure in your heart arteries.

An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultrasound waves to show the structure of your heart and how it works. There are several types of echocardiograms, including transthoracic, transesophageal, stress, fetal echocardiography, and Doppler echocardiogram. Schedule an appointment at TLC Medical Group Inc for an echocardiogram test to monitor how your heart functions.