What is an echocardiogram( Heart Health Test )?
An echocardiogram is a diagnostic test used to analyse the heart health. Through an echocardiogram, the doctor understands how the heart beats and pumps blood. The echocardiogram test makes use of sound waves to produce the images of the heart. Various abnormalities in the heart valve and muscle can be identified through an echocardiogram. echocardiogram test can be of different types according to the information required for the doctor.
When you are suggested for an echocardiogram:
When the doctor suspects you have issues with:
- The valve
- Chambers of the heart
- Ability to pump blood
Echocardiogram may also be suggested when an unborn baby is suspected ofr a congenital heart defect.
What are the different types of echocardiogram?
Doppler echocardiogram: This will help the doctor to measure the direction and speed of the blood flow in the heart. They can also detect the blood flow patterns and blood pressure in the arteries of the heart.
- Trans-esophageal echocardiogram (TEE): A more detailed picture of the heart can be obtained from trans-esophageal echocardiogram.
- Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE): It is a non-invasive and standard type of echocardiogram.
- Stress echocardiogram: Stress echocardiogram is suitable for heart problems that occur only amidst of physical activities.
How is the test performed?
During the procedure, the surgeon will attach electrode to the body. It will detect and conduct the electrical currents of the heart. The device will be connected to a monitor outside. The machine will record the blood flow in the heart. The doctor will be able to analyse the heart’s health condition. After analysing the results, the doctor will suggest treatments and medications if required. The result of an echocardiogram will show the following in the result:
- Heart size
- Valve problems
- Heart defects
- Damage to the heart muscles
- Pumping strength
- Heart defects