Types of Echocardiograms

Echocardiograms are tests doctors use to view the structures and functioning of your heart. They use high-frequency sound waves to create your heart images. An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure with no or minimal risks. Doctors use echocardiogram Upper East Side to detect damaged heart valves, heart failure, thickened heart walls, and infections in your heart lining. Echocardiograms do not involve radiation, so healthcare providers can use them on pregnant women. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend you have one or several forms of echocardiogram tests. There are various forms of echocardiogram, which include:

Transthoracic echocardiography

Transthoracic echocardiography is the most commonly used type of echocardiogram. It involves your cardiologist placing a device called a transducer on the chest over your heart. The transducer sends ultrasound waves through your chest to your heart. Your specialist observes your heart structures on a video screen that interprets the sound waves into images. The specialist may recommend you breathe at specific intervals to attain more details.

Transesophageal echocardiography

Transesophageal echocardiography involves your specialist guiding a small transducer through your mouth to your throat. The specialist will first numb your throat with an anesthetic gel or spray to prevent discomfort and reflex gag. The transducer tube passes through your esophagus to near your heart. The transducer allows your doctor to get a clear view of any heart defects and heart chambers that are not visible in other echocardiograms.

Stress echocardiography

Stress echocardiography uses a transthoracic test, but your specialist views heart images after you exercise or take certain medications that make your heart beat faster. This echocardiogram allows the provider to see how your heart functions under stress. Stress echocardiography can also show signs of heart failure and high blood pressure. The tests often take twenty to thirty minutes, but this may vary depending on how long you respond to medications or the time you take to exercise.

Three-dimensional echocardiography

Three-dimensional echocardiography uses transesophageal or transthoracic echocardiogram to create three-D images of your heart. Your doctor creates these images from different angles. A three-D echocardiogram can help diagnose heart conditions in kids, and doctors also use it before heart valve surgery. It also shows how well your heart pumps blood. Your provider can inject you with a contrast dye during this echocardiogram test to get more explicit pictures.

Fetal echocardiography

Doctors use fetal echocardiography on pregnant women between eighteen and twenty-two weeks of pregnancy to view heart issues in the fetus. This scan involves the provider placing a transducer on the pregnant woman’s abdomen. The procedure is similar to transthoracic echocardiography, but the doctor passes the wand over your belly. Fetal echocardiography does not involve radiation; hence safe for an unborn child.

Doppler echocardiogram

Doppler echocardiogram detects how sound waves’ pitch changes when they hit blood cells in your heart. Doppler signals enable your doctor to measure blood speed and flow direction in your heart. They can also show blood flow issues and blood pressure in heart arteries. Doctors use doppler echocardiogram in transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography.

Echocardiograms are tests doctors use to view the structures and functioning of your heart. There are various types of echocardiograms, including transthoracic, stress, three-dimensional, and fetal echocardiography. Schedule an appointment at Upper East Side Cardiology for an echocardiogram test to detect your heart condition.