ECHO of the heart: what is it?
One of the most modern methods of examination heart – echocardiography. Research methodology based on the use of pulsed ultrasound, which first drew the attention of the Swedish scientists over half a century ago. They have created a special device that allows to «read» the signals coming from the heart.
Of course, that this invention is not remained in oblivion – its much improved and put into practical cardiology practice. Since that time, cardiologists have the opportunity to get a full picture of the heart and diagnose even the slightest problem in its functioning.
The technique ECHOES KG
The methodology of echocardiography is the application of ultrasonic waves. This wave of high frequency that are not perceived by hearing people. To the patient’s body are attached special sensors that transmit waves in the fabric of the human body. While passing through the organs and tissues in the waves encounter various obstacles, to which they react by changing its amplitude and frequency.
Returning to the transducer, waves are recorded and processed by a special device – echocardiography. On the screen of the echocardiography issued an image of a heart obtained with four sides, and if necessary, you can build a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image.
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Potential methods ECHO
The introduction of the technique in cardiology gave a powerful impetus to the study and treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. Already at the initial stage can notice violations in the work of the authority, to determine what it is, and in severe pathology – to assess its degree and predict the treatment plan. Echocardiography of the heart is recommended for patients in the following categories:
The above are categories of patients who will have to do ECHO. It is recommended to take the study to the athletes, pregnant women, the divers, who suffered a severe sore throat, etc.
Echocardiography of the heart allows not only to «see» the body, but also to evaluate its reduction. In particular, using echocardiography has the ability to:
- diagnosing hidden abnormalities of body;
- to establish the degree of changes of the heart muscle;
- to find the causes for heart murmurs;
- to diagnose serious heart disease (such as pericarditis, ischemia, etc.);
- to assess the function of valves, to establish a violation of blood flow through their fault;
- to measure the pressure in the ventricles, the blood flow rate.
After the ECHO, you can learn about the structure of the body, its structure, pathological changes, etc. Methods of study of the heart using echocardiography is absolutely non-traumatic and safe for life and health of the patient. Is even the ECHO of the fetus. It can be done to patients of any age and even during pregnancy. People over forty five years, you have to, even if the patient has normal levels, and if there are complaints once a year, or more frequently on prescription.
Methods of procedure ECHO
Apparatus for echocardiography can operate in several modes, which give different characteristics. Before starting the procedure is selected the mode, the results of which need to be respected.
Mode a (from the word «amplitude») detects waves in the form of peaks. The wave amplitude shows the intensity of the received signal. When you enable In signal intensity is shown as bright dots on the screen. Mode M evaluates motor activity of the body. This mode is used most often, it creates a two-dimensional image of the organ. All signals in this mode are along the same axis, then the image of hearts on top. In M-mode and Doppler study. In this type of diagnosis is the ability to determine the speed of blood flow through the vessels.
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In most cases the investigation is performed through the surface of the chest, but interference in diagnosis (in the presence of excess subcutaneous fat, the presence of dentures) conducted a study through the esophagus. With this need the patient swallows the sensor, which transmits a signal. Echocardiography through the esophagus contraindicated to those people who have diseases of the stomach and digestive organs (tumor, ulcer, inflammation).
Another technique for ECHO – stress-echocardiography. It is used for the diagnosis of hidden heart defects, which occur under the influence of harsh physical activity, medicines, etc.
During the stress ECHO, the patient is exposed to the adverse factor with physical activity or no, followed by a study of the heart. The obtained results are cross-checked with echocardiography in the normal state, and based on the discrepancies you can see the hidden pathology of the heart, which normally do not show.
Preparation for the procedure and peculiarities of its implementation
From the patient there is no need in a special way to prepare for the study. Before doing the study, the patient is placed on his left side, lubricate the required part of the body gel. With the help of tips, the doctor displays data on the monitor of the echocardiography and analyzes them. On average, the procedure lasts from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on how carefully it is necessary to investigate the body. All findings are printed out and pasted in a map patient.
Training is required only when performing transesophageal echocardiography – patients need to give up eating four hours before analysis. During the procedure the throat and pharynx are processed analgesic substance, so the patient feels no discomfort during the introduction of the sensor. Already about ten minutes later the sensor is removed.
Longer ECHO with stressful factors for conducting this study required approximately forty-five minutes. For a couple of hours before the test patients should not eat, can only drink a small amount of water. It is best to wear clothes that do not impede movements.
The interpretation of the study results
After the research is interpretation of the results. The emphasis is on the size of the ventricles. Also the doctors evaluate the size of the partition. Interpreting the results the analysis is carried out only by a cardiologist. Depending on the individual patient, the specialist determines the norm or not. After interpreting the results, if necessary, treatment.