Echocardiogram: Better Than Conventional Ultrasound to Diagnose Heart Diseases

Monday, 03 Feb 2014 04:03 AM

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The heart is a vital organ in the human body, carrying out the important function of the circulation of blood. It functions through its strong muscles that contract and dilate to produce circulation. A regular electrical stimulus is needed for this essential function.

Heart diseases are mainly classified into two types – functional or organic. Anatomical diseases of the heart are congenital malformations, muscular defects, and valvular defects. Functional diseases like atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrhythmias, etc. are also prevalent.

Urgent: Discover your risk for heart disease, take the test now!
 
Diagnosis of the heart diseases should be rapid and safe. Early diagnosis can prevent damage to various vital human organs such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. Diagnosis of heart diseases is carried out using two-dimensional ultrasound, three-dimension ultrasound, and doppler ultrasound. A number of investigations like ECG, echocardiogram, carotid ultrasound, Holter’s monitoring, and angiography are used for the diagnosis of heart diseases and functions.
 
An echocardiogram involves all three ultrasound techniques to assess the functioning of the heart. Therefore, it has many advantages over other conventional heart ultrasounds. Here are some salient points to remember about these tests:
  • Apart from showing ultrasound images of the structure of the heart, it can also assess the blood flow through the heart by using the doppler ultrasound technique.
  • Currently, an echocardiogram is frequently used to diagnose various heart diseases.
  • The size and shape of the heart and its functional capability are best diagnosed by an echocardiogram.
  • Cardiac output and ejection fractions, which give useful information about the functions of the circulation, are possible only through an echocardiogram.
  • Muscular diseases of the heart like cardiomyopathy can also be diagnosed using echocardiograms.
  • An echocardiogram is a wonderful non-invasive method of diagnosis of various heart diseases.
  • Sometimes, physicians may overuse an echocardiogram to diagnose very mild valvular diseases of the heart that have no clinical significance.
  • For the diagnosis of congenital heart diseases, a three-dimensional echocardiogram is advised in that it can provide a better view of the anatomy of this vital organ.
  • In practice, various echocardiograms are carried out like trans-thoracic echocardiogram, trans-esophageal echocardiogram, and stress echocardiogram. Follow-up of heart diseases is possible through the assessment of heart functions by an echocardiogram. 
Urgent: Discover your risk for heart disease, take the test now!

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