In which cases a patient should do the echocardiography test?
The echocardiography test is necessary for those patients, who experience symptoms such as irregular heart rhythm, increased blood pressure, as well as other indications, for instance, chest pain, shortness of breath, which indicate the probability of heart diseases. The same applies to all patients who have undergone heart surgery (planned follow-up).
This type of procedure is suggested for those patients who have been diagnosed with an innate or obtained heart disease, diabetes, or for patients who are subjected to chemotherapy examinations or surgery on other organs.
An echocardiography test can help to determine:
the size and shape of the patient's heart, as well as the thickness of the heart walls;
functional state of the heart muscle, for example, during contraction and relaxation;
problems with the aorta;
heart valve problems;
complications in the pericardium of the heart;
the presence of blood clots in the ventricles of the heart.
More about the Echocardiography procedure
During the procedure, the patient has to lie down on the back or left side. On the patient’s chest, above the heart, the medical staff places electrodes in different directions. They are connected with an electrocardiograph, that graphically displays the patient’s heart rate.
To improve the accuracy of the images obtained during the examination, the doctor may ask the patient to hold his breath for a while. The duration of the echocardiographic examination can be up to 40 minutes.
Benefits of the examination
Echocardiography is a gentle and non-invasive diagnostics method that helps to obtain accurate information about the health of the patient’s heart, as well as to timely diagnose heart diseases that can lead to unwanted health complications in the future.
Healthy people should also have an echocardiography at least once in their lifetime to rule out a congenital heart condition or heart pathology without complaints.