- Echocardiography is a diagnostic test which uses ultrasound waves to make images of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures. It can measure cardiac output and is a sensitive test for inflammation around the heart (pericarditis). It can also be used to detect abnormal anatomy or infections of the heart valves.
* * *The use of ultrasound in the investigation of the heart and great vessels and diagnosis of cardiovascular lesions. SYN: ultrasonic cardiography, ultrasound cardiography. [echo + cardiography]- contrast e. the injection of contrast media of high echo reflectants ( e.g., bubbles) to outline a chamber or delineate a shunt within the heart.- cross-sectional e. SYN: two-dimensional e..- Doppler e. use of Doppler ultrasonography techniques to augment two-dimensional e. by allowing velocities to be registered within the echocardiographic image. See duplex ultrasonography, Doppler ultrasonography.- real-time e. SYN: two-dimensional e..- sector e. two-dimensional e. with a stationary transducer.- transesophageal e. recording of the echocardiogram from a transducer swallowed by the patient to predetermined distances in the esophagus and stomach.- transthoracic e. the standard e. recorded from echocardiographic “windows” on the chest wall, jugular notch, or epigastrium.- two-dimensional e. e. in which an image is reconstructed from the echoes stimulated and detected by a linear array or moving transducers. SYN: cross-sectional e., real-time e..
* * *echo·car·di·og·ra·phy -.kärd-ē-'äg-rə-fē n, pl -phies the use of ultrasound to examine and measure the structure and functioning of the heart and to diagnose abnormalities and diseaseecho·car·di·og·ra·pher -fər necho·car·dio·graph·ic -ē-ə-'graf-ik adj
* * *n.the use of ultrasound waves to investigate and display the action of the heart as it beats. Used in the diagnosis and assessment of congenital and acquired heart diseases, it is safe, painless, and reliable and reduces the need for cardiac catheterization. M-mode echocardiography uses a single beam of ultrasound. The image produced is not anatomical but permits precise measurement of cardiac dimensions and the diagnosis of valvular, myocardial, and pericardial disease. Real-time echocardiography uses a pulsed array of ultrasound beams to build up a moving image on a TV monitor of the chambers and valves of the heart. In Doppler echocardiography ultrasound reflected from moving red blood cells is subject to the Doppler effect (change of pitch with velocity relative to the observer), which can be used to calculate blood flow and pressure within the heart and great vessels. It is useful in the diagnosis and assessment of valve disease and intracardial shunts. In transoesophageal echocardiography the ultrasound probe is mounted on an oesophageal endoscope. The examination from within the oesophageal envelope allows the probe to be placed directly against the back of the heart, enabling improved visualization of posterior structures.
* * *echo·car·di·og·ra·phy (ek″o-kahr″de-ogґrə-fe) a method of graphically recording the position and motion of the heart walls or the internal structures of the heart and neighboring tissue by the echo obtained from beams of ultrasonic waves directed through the chest wall. Called also ultrasonic cardiography.
Echocardiography of sinus venosus type of atrial septal defect (ASD). Cross-sectional view (left) shows a defect in the posterosuperior portion of the atrial septum where the right upper pulmonary vein (RUPV) opens directly into the superior vena cava (SVC). Shunts from the anomalous drainage of RUPV and from the left atrium LA are shown in color flow imaging (right). (LV), Left ventricle; (RA), right atrium; (RV), right ventricle.
Medical dictionary. 2011.