(2D Echo/Doppler; Resting Echocardiography; Resting Echocardiogram)
2-D (2-Dimensional) Echocardiography is one of the most important non-invasive techniques for the assessment of cardiovascular disease. It is quick, safe for the patient and provides reliable clinical information. Cardiac ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create images of both cardiac valve structure and wall motion while the heart is beating. A state-of-the-art cardiac ultrasound machine, providing 2-D and M-Mode imaging as well as pulsed wave, continuous wave and color flow Doppler imaging is being utilized.
Echo Doppler - The cardiac doppler reveals the speed and direction of blood flow within the heart. Cardiac doppler is helpful in evaluating valve function. The doppler uses sound waves which reflects off the moving red blood cells within the heart chambers. It is usually performed with the 2 Dimensional Echocardiogram. Color Flow Mapping is usually done in conjunction with the Doppler test. It shows speed and direction of blood flow, but the images are in color. The color allows the physician to "map" abnormalities in blood flow .
Preparation/What to Expect:
A trained sonographer/technician performs the test. Patient will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and will lie on an examination table on patient’s back or sidelying.
Electrodes will be placed on the chest and arms to allow for an ECG to be done.
A gel will be spread on the chest and an instrument that transmits high-frequency sound waves called a transducer is placed on the ribs near the breast bone and directed toward the heart. The transducer picks up the echoes of the sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses. Patient may feel a slight pressure on the chest from the transducer. He/she maybe asked to breathe in a certain way or to roll over on his left side.
The echocardiography machine converts these impulses into moving pictures of the heart seen on a monitor and recorded on a videotape. It is then analyzed by a computer to make an image of the heart structure(s). Images are collected instantly but must be interpreted by a doctor, usually a cardiologist. Printouts are then made from the screen.
No special preparation is needed before the test.
It takes half an hour to perform a 2D Echo and additional 30 minutes for the Doppler. There is no radiation nor dye used.