A noninvasive technique for imaging a live heart is called as an echocardiogram. This technique helps in getting the 2 dimensional (2D) images of the structure and function of the heart.
Let us learn more about this useful medical procedure from the following paragraphs.
What is a 2D Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is called as an echo, 2D echo, echocardiography or cardiac ultrasound. It is an ultrasound test that helps in getting to more about the heart. A transducer probe is used to transmit sound waves into the heart. These sound waves are then reflected or bounce off the heart. Thus, helping in giving clear pictures of the heart visible on the screen.
How is 2D Echocardiogram Done?
In order to carry out echocardiogram, ultrasound gel is placed on the chest. This helps in giving good transmission of the sound waves to the heart. The transducer is placed on the chest. This probe helps in reflecting sound waves (echo) to the various part of the heart.
The waves bounce back to the transducer, is visible on the computer screen attached to the probe. The images are then printed on paper or captured on CD.
What is 2D Echocardiogram Used For?
The doctor recommends 2D echo as it is an important diagnostic tool for gaining more information related to the heart structure and its function.
The uses of 2D echo are as follows:
- To detect any abnormalities in the size and dimension of the heart chambers
- To detect any abnormalities in the thickness of the heart walls
- To find any changes in the pumping action of the heart
- To detect any problems with the structure, thickness or movement of the heart valve
- To determine any condition affecting the heart muscles, pericardium, valves and heart.
- To evaluate heart murmurs
- To evaluate the progress of any heart treatment or surgery
How do I Prepare for a 2D Echocardiogram?
One does not need to follow any specific instructions before a 2D echo test. One can eat and drink normally. One can even take their regular medications before the test. Make sure you remove all jewelry from around the neck.
What Happens During the Test?
2D echo is a painless, simple, noninvasive test. The sonographer will place three electrodes on the chest. These electrodes will be attached to the EGC monitor to detect the heart’s electrical activity.
Once in the room, you will be asked to lie down on the examination table. The transducer will be placed on different areas of the chest after the ultrasound gel is applied to the chest.
When the transducer is placed on the chest, one can hear the sounds of the blood pumped by the heart. One needs to change positions as required to capture images of the heart. The sonographer may also ask you to hold your breath at times. Once the test is done, you will be asked to leave.
How Long Does the Test Take to Complete?
It takes about 20 - 45 minutes to complete a 2D echo test.
What To Expect After the Test?
The doctor will receive your test results. It will provide him with all the information related to the heart and blood flow. This will allow him to plan the line of treatment for the heart.
This is a simple test that serves as an important diagnostic tool. Talk to your doctor for more information before undergoing the test to clear any doubts.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: February 14, 2015