Echocardiography( Echocardiography) is a cardiac procedure for the evaluation of the contractility of the heart and its chambers. Let's talk about what is Echocardiography of the heart, how it is made, where it can be made and at what cost.
What is Echocardiography?
The abbreviation "EchoCG" is based on three Greek words. The first - "echo" means an echo, the second - "cardio" - the heart, the third - "graphy" - a letter, a display. The principle of the technique is based on reflected ultrasonic waves from the anatomical structures of the circulatory system. By the nature of the signals, normal or pathological work of the heart valves and heart chambers is determined. Ultrasound served as an excuse for another name for the technique - ultrasound.
With the help of ultrasound, it is possible to track such anatomical and physiological parameters of the heart as:
- the work of the heart muscle;
- thickness of the myocardium in different parts;
- volume and pressure in the heart chambers;
- condition and work of the atria and ventricles;
- the presence of a change in the rate of movement of blood in different parts of the heart.
More details on the procedure of EchoCG will be told this video:
To whom the procedure is prescribed
The procedure is painless, does not have side effects on the human body. For this reason, in the presence of indications for echocardiography, it is performed regardless of the presence of pregnancy in women, the age and sex of the patient.
Purpose and frequency of
The aim of the echocardiographic examination is to study the structure and functions of the heart as a whole and its individual parts.
- Echocardioscopy is performed once or repeatedly, in the dynamics of the treatment of the disease.
- The number of procedures performed for a certain period of time and during a lifetime is determined by the doctor who appointed the procedure.
Types and methods of diagnosis
There are 3 methods for conducting echocardiography:
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- Transthoracic .The most commonly used technique is based on the penetration of ultrasound signals through the skin of the chest and then to the heart. The patient's lying position on the left side of the body is most convenient due to the proximity of the heart to the left side.
- Transesophageal .It is used in cases of chest deformities or the presence of artificial valves( shunting).The procedure is more unpleasant, since the examination is performed through the esophagus, but its duration is not long: just over 10 minutes.
- Stress - echocardy is performed when the work and structure of the heart is clarified in dynamics, therefore it has a longer duration. The patient is first examined at rest, then offered to do a set of physical exercises, increasing the load on the heart muscle. If exercise is difficult to perform, drugs are prescribed to enhance cardiac activity.
In addition to the methods, echocardioscopy differs in the types of conduct that depend on the selected regimen:
- Mobile M-mode .The peculiarity of this method of echocardiography is in the form of a beam of ultrasonic waves: it has a narrow direction. First of all, the beam is directed to the entire surface of the heart, which causes the image on the monitor to be displayed as a cut of the heart with a viewing angle from above. By changing the direction of ultrasonic waves, all the chambers of the heart, the aorta, the outgoing and outgoing pulmonary vessels can be subjected to a separate examination. The procedure is so highly secure that it is carried out even by the newborn in the first hours after their birth.
- B-method , called two-dimensional. The difference between the resulting image and the one-dimensional model is dynamic, constantly changing picture and colors from dark gray to white. The cause of the image change is the muscle contraction of the heart chambers and the closing and closing operations of the heart valves. The regime well reveals aneurysms, neoplasms, thrombi.
- Doppler echocardioscopy .Currently, this mode can be selected by default, although several years ago a specialist and a device that could perform this type of procedure were scarce. Doppler analysis reveals heart defects when filling the ventricles with blood. The frequency of reflection of the ultrasonic wave determines the speed of movement of blood along the vessels of the heart, outgoing vessels and inside the heart chambers. Usually the frequency of reflection of the wave is in the frequency, well captured by the human ear, on the device such a reflection is indicated by a high-frequency sound.
The basics of Echocardiogram will be described in the video below:
The appointment from the attending physician to EchoCG the patient receives if the following signs are found:
- chest pain and retrosternal region;
- in the course of listening to heart work revealed cardiac arrhythmias and pathological noise;
- ischemic heart disease;
- acute myocardial infarction;
- hyperplasia of the liver and edema of the extremities, indicating a heart failure;
- cyanosis of the lips, ear shells, extremities, increased fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin.
Echocardiography is performed after radical interventions in the heart area, serious injuries of the bones of the chest. If the pain in the head has become frequent and become permanent, one of the causes of this condition is the disruption of the circulation. It is not excluded the movement of the fragmented embol into the adjacent chambers due to the pathology of the interstitial septum. This pathology is diagnosed by high-frequency signals.
Echocardiography is indicated for suspected heart valve abnormalities and congenital( acquired) heart defects. Certain pathologies of non-cardiac etiogenesis also require the diagnosis in the form of echocardiography:
- malignant neoplasms,
- arterial hypertension,
- low birth weight and insufficient weight gain in infancy,
- after antibiotic therapy.
Excessive physical activity in any sport( hockey or gymnastics, bobsleigh or big tennis) affects the condition of the heart and blood vessels, and the diseases often occur in a latent form. The task of cardiac diagnosis is to prevent the occurrence of complications after such loads and provide the basis for the correct treatment regimen.
The categories of patients to whom it is unsafe to conduct an echocard are not. Individual patients have different abnormalities, due to which it is difficult to carry out the diagnostic procedure. These are:
- physiological disorders in the work of the respiratory system( smoking with experience, bronchial asthma, obstructive bronchitis, etc.);
- men with hairy breasts and women with impressive mammary glands;
- morphological disorders of the normal relief of the chest;
- patients with inflammation of the skin of the chest area or existing chest injuries, wounds on the chest;
- mental abnormalities, excessive manifestation of the vomiting reflex, esophageal abnormalities( with transesophageal diagnosis).
Is this safe for the
? Diagnostic inspection has absolute safety for every patient that is to be assigned to the procedure. Newborns, pregnant women, the elderly, even if there are relative discomforts, will not feel painful sensations or harm to the body.
During the ultrasound of the heart, newborns can move, shout - the results of the procedure, such movements are not affected.
For preparation for echocardiography, see below.
procedure In order to perform a procedure with reliable results and not making it difficult to carry it out, it is necessary to prepare for echocardiography taking into account the following recommendations:
- Take a direction on ultrasound of the heart.
- Do not block the package with a bottle of water, a clean cloth and napkins.
- For a child you can take a toy.
- It is advisable not to overeat before echocardiography.
Carrying out the procedure and sensing the patients
Carrying out the echocardiogram is performed according to the following algorithm:
- The patient takes off the clothes from the upper part of the body and lies down on the left side on the couch.
- The area of the chest, designed to apply sensors, is covered with a special gel. Attached sensors do not cause even a little pain or trouble. The only sensation is the chill of the gel.
- The sensors emit UV waves, which are reflected from the heart structures, return through the sensors to the monitor, forming an image.
- The diagnostician is on either side of the patient.
Next, let's talk about the rates of EchoCG in adults and children, decipher the results and the conclusion about diagnosis.
Deciphering the results of
Even when comparing the normal heart rate and the results of Echocardiography, an ordinary person or a diagnostician can calculate that the comparison is not difficult. Only a cardiologist can make a full analysis of the mapping of ultrasound of the heart, taking into account not only the results of ultrasound, but also the symptoms of the disease, as well as the data of other diagnostic techniques.
On how much it cost echocardiography, read on.
About the features of decoding results Echocardiogram will tell the following video:
The average cost of the procedure
The price of Echocardiogram on average - 2500 rubles, although in the direction in emergency cases, the survey is free. The rest of the procedures are slightly more expensive, but the price variation in different clinics is wide.