Based on the same ultrasound technology used to view fetuses in utero, echocardiography is a cardiac imaging test used to evaluate patients with suspected valvular disease, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, aneurysm, cardiomyopathy, cardiac tumors, congenital defects, pulmonary hypertension, and other disorders.
In addition to real-time two-dimensional images of the heart, echocardiography can incorporate Doppler techniques to show the movement of blood through the heart and blood vessels.
Here's how it works:
- You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and lie flat on an examining table or bed. The technician will attach sticky patches (electrodes) to various places on your torso.
- After applying gel to your chest, the technician will move a transducer (a wand that transmits ultrasound waves) around so that sound waves can be converted into images of your heart on a computer screen.
- During the test, the technician may ask you to change positions or hold your breath for a few seconds so that he or she can get the best image.
- Most echocardiograms take less than an hour to complete.
Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart &; Vascular Center has been a world leader in the development and application of 3D echocardiography to create highly accurate three-dimensional images of the heart, its chambers and its valves.
For more information about echocardiography at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, please call 713-DEBAKEY (332-2539) or complete our online contact us form.
- 3D Echo, Doppler, and TEE
- Valvular disease evaluation
- Torsional-strain imaging
- Stress echo
- Diastolic function