This test is available at both our
Berkley Main office and Troy office. If you prefer this test be done at a
certain location, please inform the scheduler of this when you call to make
please scroll down to see Contrast Echocardiography and
IS THE PURPOSE OF A CARDIAC ULTRASOUND EXAM? An echocardiogram can provide your
physician with invaluable information about your heart. An echo allows the
physician to look at the overall size of your heart, evaluate the left
ventricle (the major pumping chamber of the heart), evaluate the four valves
in the heart for any irregularities, and assess the blood flow throughout
the heart chambers and valves. Evaluating the valves and blood flow is
known as Doppler.
Echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a visual image of the heart
itself. Sound waves are bounced off the heart by means of a small
transducer placed on the chest. As the sound bounces or echoes off the
heart structures, they are translated into visual images on a screen
monitor. The images can reflect structural problems with the heart and its
valves. Echocardiograms are performed while you are lying on your left
side, although you may be asked to switch positions frequently so that the
technician can image your heart from a variety of angles.
Contrast Echocardiography A contrast echo is the same procedure as
described above, but uses a contrast agent to help enable the technologist
to better image the heart. As the echocardiogram is performed, the
technologist will see that the study is not as clear as it should be (which
is usually just because the patient is of a larger stature) and will decide
to use a contrast agent called Definity to produce better images. The
Definity is a liquid given in a vein and usually has no associated side
effects. The end result is a clear, quality image that will give your
physician all the information he/she needs.
Bubble Echocardiography A Bubble Echocardiogram is an
Echocardiogram as described above using harmless saline bubbles. After the
initial ultrasound pictures are taken, an I.V. line is started in the arm.
A saline bubble solution is injected through the I.V. line while more images
are taken. This test is done to evaluate the correct flow of blood through
the chambers of the heart.
HOW LONG WILL THE TEST TAKE?
The total amount of time this test will take is approximately one hour.
ADMINISTERS THE TEST? An ultrasound technologist.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY TEST? There is no preparation