Doppler Echocardiography, Heart Echocardiogram, Transesophageal Echocardiography
An echocardiogram (also called an echo) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves that are sent through a device called a transducer. The device picks up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of your heart. These echoes are turned into moving pictures of your heart that can be seen on a video screen.
The different types of echocardiograms are:
Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE): This is the most common type. Views of the heart are obtained by moving the transducer to different locations on your chest or abdominal wall.
Stress echocardiogram: During this test, an echocardiogram is done both before and after your heart is stressed either by having you exercise or by injecting a medicine that makes your heart beat harder and faster. A stress echocardiogram is usually done to find out if you might have decreased blood flow to your heart (coronary artery disease, or CAD).
Doppler echocardiogram: This test is used to look at how blood flows through the heart chambers, heart valves, and blood vessels. The movement of the blood reflects sound waves to a transducer. The ultrasound computer then measures the direction and speed of the blood flowing through your heart and blood vessels. Doppler measurements may be displayed in black and white or in color.
Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): For this test, the probe is passed down the esophagus instead of being moved over the outside of the chest wall. TEE shows clearer pictures of your heart, because the probe is located closer to the heart and because the lungs and bones of the chest wall do not block the sound waves produced by the probe. A sedative and an anesthetic applied to the throat are used to make you comfortable during this test.
Echo can be used as part of a stress test and with an electrocardiogram (EKG)to help your doctor learn more about your heart.
Cardiac Risk Factors:
Age and gender: The number of people affected by heart disease increases with age in men after age 45 and in women after age 55. Smoker. Select "yes" if you have smoked any cigarettes in the past month. Quitting smoking may be the most important step you can take to reduce your risk.
Systolic blood pressure.Systolic blood pressure is the first number of your blood pressure reading. For example, if your reading is 120/80 (120 over 80), your systolic blood pressure is 120.
Blood pressure medicine: Some medications commonly used to treat high blood pressure include diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Enter "yes" if you take one of these medications.
HDL cholesterol: HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is the "good" cholesterol because it helps prevent cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher your HDL, the better. An HDL of 60 mg/dL and above protects against heart disease. An HDL of less than 40 mg/dL puts you at major risk of heart attack.
Total cholesterol: Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. A total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL and above puts you at twice the risk of heart disease compared with someone whose cholesterol is below 200 mg/dL. Less than 200 mg/dL gives you a lower risk for heart disease.
If you are concerned about your heart, talk to your doctor about lowering your risk for a heart attack. You can make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or changing your diet, that can substantially reduce your chances of heart attack.
Begin Your Journey to CardiacTesting with Patients Medical
Our job at Patients Medical is to listen, to connect the dots between a patient's medical history, symptoms, and their underlying causes. Patients Medical is a superb place for women and men to secure integrative and holistic health care from providers who give personalized care, partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of their illness, support their recovery, and help them maintain good health.
To make an appointment with one of our physicians, please call us at 1-212-794-8800. We look forward to hearing from you.