Cardiac Ultrasound – What Is It?

by Shannon Peron, RVT, RDCS

Cardiac Ultrasound or Echocardiography

Cardiac ultrasound, also known as echocardiography, is a non-invasive procedure which utilizes sound waves to produce images of the heart. Detailed, anatomical, information such as wall structure/function, valvular morphology and blood flow are assessed in real   time and captured/stored for review by Cardiologists. Cardiac ultrasound has begun to replace older, more invasive, procedures for the diagnosis heart diseases and abnormalities. The non-invasive nature of ultrasound makes it a safer, more cost-effective imaging procedure.

Some of its uses include:

  • The detection of valvular disease/abnormalities
  • Assessment of the movement of the various segments of the muscle walls
  • Evaluation of blood flow within the heart
  • The detection of excess fluid surrounding the heart
  • Overall evaluation of heart function

What Is Heart Disease?

Heart Disease is a term used to describe a variety of diseases which effect the heart in different ways, but ultimately effect the normal function of the heart.

Various diseases that fall under this term include:

  • Diseases of the blood vessels of the heart or Coronary artery disease
  • Heart rhythm disturbances or arrhythmias
  • Infections
  • Structural ailments present at birth – Congenital defects
  • Structural ailments developed due to viruses or disease – Acquired defects



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