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2D Echo

2D Echo :

Echocardiography is also known as Echo, Cardiac Ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound of the heart, Cardiac Ultrasonography, 2D echo test and 3d echo test. It is a test that used to give an image of the heart using sound waves. It can be used in conjunction with a stress test to show the heart as it beats while the patient is exercising.
Echocardiography is a very precise method to detect the hearts movement and shape. It is a non-invasive technique that uses sonar to study the motion and appearance of the valves. The patient is asked to lie down and remove clothing from the waist up. A sheet of paper or cloth is used to cover the patient. Electrodes will then be placed on the patients body. The patient might be asked to breathe in a certain way or be asked to lie on ones side to best help the test be performed successfully. A gel is applied to the chest followed by a transducer i.e. a machine that sends and receives sound which is placed on the body over the heart and measures distance to produce the visual representation of the heart on a monitor. How the visuals appear in a 2d echo test and a 3d echo test will depend on the machine used. Though only a trained sonographer is required to perform the test, a cardiologist will best interpret the results.

The test is performed for a variety of reasons:

  •  To detect abnormal heart valves i.e. the atria and the ventricles which are concerned with the distribution of blood.

  •  To detect abnormal heart rhythms like tachycardia i.e. rapid increase in beating of the heart to brachycardia i.e. rapid decrease in beating of the heart

  •   To check for any congenital heart disease.

  •   To observe for any damage that the heart might have taken after a heart attack.

  •   To look for inflammation of the heart also known as pericarditis or for any fluid that might have gathered in the sac around the heart..

  •   To look for heart murmurs.

  •   To observe the heart in greater detail.

This kind of test is perfectly safe and should be performed in an environment with a trained sonographer present. Patients are advised to speak to their cardiologist before taking any medication or changing their routine. There are no special preparations a patient needs to take for this test but diabetic patients should always consult their doctor who must be kept well informed before undergoing echocardiography or altering existing medication dosage.

  •  You may eat and drink as you normally would on the day of the echocardiogram test

  •  Take all of your regular medications the morning of the test.

  •   Wear two-piece clothing and remove all jewelry from around your neck.

  •   You will need to change into an exam cape to wear during the procedure.

A cardiac sonographer (an allied health professional who has been trained specifically to perform ultrasound examinations) will place three electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on your chest. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor (ECG) that charts your heart’s electrical activity. You will be asked to lie on your left side on an exam table. A sound-wave transducer will be placed on several areas of your chest. It will have a small amount of cool gel on the end. This gel does not harm the skin; itl helps to obtain clearer pictures. Sounds are part of the Doppler signal. You will be able to hear the sounds of your blood passing through the heart valves during the test. You may be asked to change positions during the exam in order to take pictures of different areas of your heart. You may be asked to hold your breath at times. You should feel no major discomfort during the test, however you will feel slight pressure from the transducer being placed on your chest.

A brief exam in normal case may be done within 15-20 minutes. However, when there are heart problems, it may take much longer.

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