What Is An Echocardiogram (ECHO)?

Question: What is an echocardiogram (ECHO), and should it be done in all patients with heart failure?

Answer: An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. We're able to get pictures of the heart, in great detail, by transmitting ultrasounds typically between the ribs in order to see a picture of the heart. Not only can we see a picture of what the heart looks like, but we can watch it move in real-time.

We get a picture of the valves, we get a picture of the heart muscle, we get a picture of how the heart is squeezing and how strong it is and beyond that by using special techniques

We can get very sophisticated measure of how the heart functions. Things such as how much the heart is pumping? How much leak is in a given valve? How narrow is a given valve?, and other information that tells us a great deal about the heart's function.

We can even estimate the pressures in the heart using sophisticated techniques combining Doppler and other techniques.

So an echocardiogram is a critical component to the evaluation of a patient with heart failure. It really forms a basis of what type of heart failure a given person may have and how we are going to go about treating it.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5227008. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5227008. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5227008. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5227008.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
Lisa Kudrow
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library | Getty Images
PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.
Courtesy 1715 Fleet - Queens Jewels, LLC
PHOTO: Motorists were startled when an axe from a dump truck in front of them flew at their windshield.
Massachusetts State Police/Facebook