What an Echocardiogram Can Reveal About Your Heart

When you have symptoms that suggest a heart problem, an echocardiogram is one of the first diagnostic tests that’s performed. Echocardiograms are safe, they produce immediate images of your heart, and they can be done right in our office at the same time as your exam at Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute.

Don’t hesitate to call our office in The Woodlands, Texas, if you have any questions about your heart health or symptoms you’re experiencing. Meanwhile, here’s a rundown of what an echocardiogram can reveal about your heart.

What an echocardiogram reveals

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound, so you don’t need to worry about exposure to radiation. Instead, this imaging test uses safe sound waves to create detailed images of your heart in real time.

When we take an echocardiogram, we immediately see the size and shape of your heart and the blood vessels carrying blood through your heart. 

Many heart conditions are diagnosed with an echocardiogram because we can see details such as:

To get all the information we need to diagnose the cause of your symptoms, we use different types of echocardiograms.

Different types of echocardiograms

We can perform several types of echocardiography, depending on what we need to learn about your heart. You may have:

Two-dimensional echocardiography

A 2D echocardiogram is the foundation of heart imaging. This technique immediately shows the heart’s structures and movement in real time. We may also do a 3D version, which reveals the same information but with greater details.

Doppler echocardiography

Doppler echocardiography is a special technique that shows blood flowing through the blood vessels. We use a Doppler to determine the amount of blood pumped with every heartbeat and to detect abnormal blood flow.

M-mode echocardiography

This echocardiogram produces a one-dimensional tracing of your heart that we use to make fine measurements. For example, we can precisely determine the size of the heart and its chambers, as well as the muscle wall thickness.

Heart conditions diagnosed with echocardiograms

In addition to diagnosing the cause of your symptoms, we use echocardiograms to plan your treatment and monitor the effect of ongoing treatments.

These are a few of the heart conditions revealed by an echocardiogram:

We often use echocardiograms to evaluate the health of your heart and blood vessels after you have a heart attack or stroke.

To learn more about echocardiograms or to schedule an appointment, call Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute, or use online booking to reserve a time to see Dr. Laura Fernandes.

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