Echocardiography is a test used to create pictures of the human heart using sound waves. The picture produced is called an echocardiogram. The pictures are to check the functioning of the heart valves and the heart and monitor blood flow through them. This ultrasound allows your doctor to determine if you have any heart diseases or other heart problems.
Echocardiograms are of several types. Below are the different types of echocardiograms done on patients, depending on their health information recorded by the doctors. If you want to have an echocardiogram done, visit Tomball echocardiograms to speak to a doctor.
Types of echocardiograms
- Transthoracic echocardiography: This type of echocardiography is the most common and is also referred to as a heart ultrasound. A healthcare provider first applies gel to the patient’s chest and then places an ultrasound wand known as a transducer that sends high-frequency sound waves to the heart and creates images of it.
This test shows blood flow through the heart and its valves.
- Transesophageal echocardiography: This test is typically done to get more in-depth details on a patient’s heart condition because it involves inserting a thin tube attached to a transducer into the patient’s mouth to be placed behind the patient’s heart.
This allows for a more detailed scanning of the patient’s heart, thereby allowing the doctor to receive better information about the patient’s condition. Transesophageal echocardiography is recommended if the results from transthoracic echocardiography are not clear.
- 3D echocardiography: A three-dimensional echocardiography is typically done to get information on the heart’s main pumping area, which is situated at the lower left of the heart.
This test creates 3D visuals of the heart from multiple angles using either transthoracic or transesophageal echocardiography. A 3D echo is commonly done for diagnosing children’s heart issues.
- Stress echocardiography: This test is called a stress test. This involves the patient doing a physical activity that allows the doctor to check their heart rate and blood pressure. The patient may be asked to walk or run on a treadmill while they have patches attached to their chest that link to an echocardiogram machine.
This is done before and after exercise to check how the patient’s heart reacts to stress. This test is usually recommended if the doctor suspects coronary artery disease in the patient.
- Fetal echocardiography: This test is done on pregnant women between 18 and 22 weeks to check the baby’s heart condition. Fetal echo is noninvasive and does not use radiation, so it is a safe procedure for the mother and the unborn child.
If you want more information on echos and which type is recommended for you, speak to a professional today!