Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

ECHO (Echocardiography) Tips

Heart Health Test

Dr. Paramjeet Singh 90% (1400 ratings)
MBBS, Dip.Cardiology, Fellowship in Clinical Cardiology(FICC), Fellowship in Echocardiology
Cardiologist, Ghaziabad
Heart Health Test

Heart diseases are the number one killer in the U.S. They are also a major cause of disability. If you do have a heart disease, it is important to find it early, when it is easier to treat. Blood tests and heart health tests can help find heart diseases or identify problems that can lead to heart diseases. There are several different types of heart health tests. Your doctor will decide which test or tests you need, based on your symptoms (if any), risk factors, and medical history.

Echocardiography

Echocardiography, or echo, is a painless test that uses sound waves to create moving pictures of your heart. The pictures show the size and shape of your heart. They also show how well your heart's chambers and valves are working. Doctors use an echo to diagnose many different heart problems, and to check how severe they are.

For the test, a technician applies gel to your chest. The gel helps sound waves reach your heart. The technician moves a transducer (wand-like device) around on your chest. The transducer connects to a computer. It transmits ultrasound waves into your chest, and the waves bounce (echo) back. The computer converts the echoes into pictures of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (EKG), (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also called an ECG or EKG, is a painless test that detects and records your heart's electrical activity. It shows how fast your heart is beating and whether its rhythm is steady or irregular.

An EKG may be part of a routine exam to screen for heart disease. Or you may get it to detect and study heart problems such as heart attacks, arrhythmia, and heart failure.

For the test, you lie still on a table and a nurse or technician attaches electrodes (patches that have sensors) to the skin on your chest, arms, and legs. Wires connect the electrodes to a machine that records your heart's electrical activity.

Stress Testing

Stress testing looks at how your heart works during physical stress. It can help to diagnose coronary artery disease, and to check how severe it is. It can also check for other problems, including heart valve disease and heart failure.

For the test, you exercise (or are given medicine if you are unable to exercise) to make your heart work hard and beat fast. While this is happening, you get an EKG and blood pressure monitoring. Sometimes you may also have an echocardiogram, or other imaging tests such as a nuclear scan. For the nuclear scan, you get an injection of a tracer (a radioactive substance), which travels to your heart. Special cameras detect the energy from the tracer to make pictures of your heart. You have pictures taken after you exercise, and then after you rest.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat some heart conditions. For the procedure, your doctor puts a catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube) into a blood vessel in your arm, groin, or neck, and threads it to your heart. The doctor can use the catheter to

  • Do a coronary angiography. This involves putting a special type of dye in the catheter, so the dye can flow through your bloodstream to your heart. Then your doctor takes x-rays of your heart. The dye allows your doctor to see your coronary arteries on the x-ray, and to check for coronary artery disease (plaque buildup in the arteries).
  • Take samples of blood and heart muscle
  • Do procedures such as minor heart surgery or angioplasty, if your doctor finds that you need it

Cardiac CT Scan

A cardiac CT (computed tomography) scan is a painless imaging test that uses x-rays to take detailed pictures of your heart and its blood vessels. Computers can combine these pictures to create a three-dimensional (3D) model of the whole heart. This test can help doctors detect or evaluate

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Calcium buildup in the coronary arteries
  • Problems with the aorta
  • Problems with heart function and valves
  • Pericardial diseases

Before you have the test, you get an injection of contrast dye. The dye highlights your heart and blood vessels in the pictures. The CT scanner is a large, tunnel-like machine. You lie still on a table which slides you into the scanner, and the scanner takes the pictures for about 15 minutes.

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a painless imaging test that uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create detailed pictures of your heart. It can help your doctor figure out whether you have heart disease, and if so, how severe it is. A cardiac MRI can also help your doctor decide the best way to treat heart problems such as

The MRI is a large, tunnel-like machine. You lie still on a table which slides you into the MRI machine. The machine makes loud noises as it takes pictures of your heart. It usually takes about 30-90 minutes. Sometimes before the test, you might get an injection of contrast dye. The dye highlights your heart and blood vessels in the pictures.

Chest X-Ray

A chest x-ray creates pictures of the organs and structures inside your chest, such as your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It can reveal signs of heart failure, as well as lung disorders and other causes of symptoms not related to heart disease.

Coronary Angiography

Coronary angiography (angiogram) is a procedure that uses contrast dye and x-ray pictures to look at the insides of your arteries. It can show whether plaque is blocking your arteries and how severe the blockage is. Doctors use this procedure to diagnose heart diseases after chest pain, sudden cardiac arrest, or abnormal results from other heart tests such as an EKG or a stress test.

You usually have a cardiac catheterization to get the dye into your coronary arteries. Then you have special x-rays while the dye is flowing through your coronary arteries. The dye lets your doctor study the flow of blood through your heart and blood vessels.

MD - Paediatrics, Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology
Pediatrician, Ahmedabad
Does your kid suffer from heart disease?

These are the tools:
Symptoms- not gaining weight
- recurrent respiratory tract illness
- fast breathing
- feeding difficulty
- excessive sweating

Confirmation: 2 d echocardiography

2 d echocardiography is sonography of heart. By this test structure of heart can be evaluated and heart disease can be identified.

MD - Paediatrics, Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology
Pediatrician, Ahmedabad
Heart diseases in children:
It is a myth that heart diseases in children are incurable. 90% of congenital heart problems have treatment available. Complex heart diseases can be prevented by taking folic acid antenatally. Fetal echocardiography is the tool to diagnose heart diseases in children before birth.

PREVENT COMPLICATIONS

MBBS & Post Graduate Course in Diabetology, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), CCEBDM, Certificate course in management of Thyroid disorders-CCMTD
Diabetologist, Bangalore
PREVENT COMPLICATIONS
Prevent diabetes complications by following as under:
- diabetes eye check up from ophthalmologist: once in a year
- urine microalbumin: once in a year
- nerve examination: once in a year
- ecg/echo: once in a year.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Valvar Aortic Stenosis in Children

FSCAI (Int Card), FACC (Card), FACP (Int Medicine), MBBS
Cardiologist, Delhi
Diagnosis and Treatment of Valvar Aortic Stenosis in Children

Valvar aortic stenosis, commonly called aortic stenosis, is a disorder which occurs when the aortic valve of the heart becomes narrow (know Main Indicators of a Heart Disease in a Child). The narrowing of the valve prevents its full opening, and hence, blood flow from the heart to the aorta is restricted. When the aortic valve gets obstructed, the heart has to exert much more effort to pump the blood. The heart muscles get weakened as a result. This condition is more common in children.

Diagnosis of Valvar Aortic Stenosis:
Before diagnosis, we should know about the symptoms of valvar aortic stenosis in children. They include:

  • Feeling breathless
  • Angina or chest pain with a feeling of pressure or tightness
  • Syncope of fainting
  • Palpitations and enhanced heartbeats
  • A steady decline in regular activities and energy levels
  • Fatigue due to little exertion
  • Not gaining weight
  • Poor eating patterns
  • Problems in breathing

The wall of the left ventricle also thickens muscularly, and the thick wall occupies more space in the lower chamber of the heart and hence, the room for adequate blood supply is reduced. This may lead to heart failure.

Echocardiogram: The initial test that is recommended for patients with symptoms of valvar aortic stenosis is Doppler Echocardiography. This test enables the doctor to estimate the aortic valve region, peak or mean transvalvular gradients and the maximum aortic velocity. These primary measures are required to assess the severity of the disease. Echocardiography provides important information on the valve function, left ventricular filling pressure and disruptions in other valves.

Other major tests which help in the diagnosis of valvar aortic stenosis include:

  • MRI or magnetic resonance imaging, which provides images of internal body structures with great detail.
  • CT scan or computed tomography where three-dimensional images are extracted.
  • Chest X ray
  • Cardiac catheterization where a dye is used to highlight blockages, if any, in the heart.

Treatment: Usually, there are no medicines for fixing valvar aortic stenosis as the disease is not reversible. Medicines can be used to treat the problems, which are caused by the condition.

Replacement of the damaged valve by surgery is the best treatment for valvar aortic stenosis. The surgery performed is called valvuloplasty. This is a cardioscopic surgery where a tube with a small balloon is inserted into a vein. The tube is guided into the heart, and the balloon is inflated. The balloon and tube are removed after the valve is opened. The damaged valve is replaced by mechanical valve or the valve of a cow or pig by an open-heart surgery.

Valvar aortic stenosis is a severe heart condition in children, and the only permanent remedy for this disease is a valve replacement surgery.

2976 people found this helpful

Guidance for CAD, Heart Patients undergoing CABG

Dr. Cherian 87% (84 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Delhi
Guidance for CAD, Heart Patients undergoing CABG

What is CABG?

CABG or Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting is a surgery done to improve blood flow to the heart. In most instances there is a fatty plaque (CAD or Coronary Artery Disease) in the vessels of heart which reduces the blood flow required for normal function. The plaque may grow or harden with time and reduces oxygen-rich blood reaching the heart. Lowering of the amount of oxygen reaching the heart may result in Chest Pain - called Angina. The plaque may even rupture and form clots on its surface. The clot formed may mostly or even completely block the blood flow - leading to Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction.

In CABG, a normal vein or artery from the patient's body is connected to the blocked coronary artery. Thereby bypassing the obstructing plaque and creates a new path along which blood can now reach the heart.

What are other options for Treatment of CAD?

Other than CABG options for treatment of CAD include - Lifestyle changes, Medications, PCI or Balloon Angioplasty.

PCI is a nonsurgical option where the blocked artery can be opened and generally a stent is placed at the point of blockage to keep the blood flowing.

Goals of CABG

CABG is done to achieve the following

1. Reduce the symptoms (Chest Pain, Breathlessness etc)
2. Improve quality of Life and helps to resume a more active Lifestyle
3. Improved pumping action of the heart
4. Reduce chances of Heart Attack
5. Improve chances of survival

Who needs CABG?

CABG is a surgical treatment for CAD.

Your doctor may recommend CABG if other treatments have not worked or he judges it good in his clinical opinion.

Decision will be based on factors such as -

1. Severity, Location and number of blockages
2. Response to other treatments
3. Your quality of Life and severity of symptoms
4. Other Medical conditions that you might have
5. Your Age and Medical History

Medical Tests that may be required to determine the need are -

1. ECG
2. Echocardiography
3. Coronary Angiography

THE SURGERY

Outlook


CABG is a relatively safe Surgery. The safety of the procedure will depend on your age, existing heart function, and experience of the Doctor.

What to expect before

You will need to undergo a few tests to prepare you for CABG such as - Blood tests, Chest X-Ray, ECG, Echocardiography or maybe Coronary Angiography. Doctors that perform CABG are Cardiothoracic Surgeons.

Things to ask your Doctor at this Stage -

1. What you can eat or drink
2. What activities are you allowed to do (e.g. smoking)
3. What medicines to take (Share all the medicines that you are taking for any other conditions)
4. As the outlook for surgery is heavily dependent on the number of procedures a Doctor has performed - it will be a good idea to get information about his clinical experience.

If you have already undergone all the tests - surgery may be done on the same or a day after the admission.

What to expect after

You will require admission into ICU typically for 1 or 2 days, to monitor your progress better after the surgery. You will be given oxygen therapy while hospitalized. You may also be asked to wear Compression Stockings while your movement is limited.

After you leave ICU you will require admission in the hospital for about 4 - 6 days.

Recovery at Home

Things to ask your doctor before leaving the hospital.

1. How to care for incision wounds and stitches.
2. How to identify signs of infection
3. How to identify conditions for which you need to call the Doctor right away.
4. When to make follow-up appointments

Common side effects of CABG wear off within 4 - 6 weeks but may include.

1. Discomfort in area from where the vein was taken
2. Itching and swelling at incision wounds
3. Fatigue, Loss of Sleep, Loss of Appetite
4. Constipation

Full recovery from CABG takes 6 - 12 weeks.

Your doctor will advise you when you can resume specific activities. If your work is not too demanding physically, it is common to return to work after 6 weeks. You can resume sexual activities after 4 weeks and drive after 4 - 8 weeks.

Ongoing Care

At you follow up visits you will require to undergo tests such as ECG, Echocardiography etc. to see how much your heart has improved. CABG is not a cure for CAD. A complete Treatment will always involve Lifestyle changes, Reducing weight, Medications, and Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercises. Your doctor will prepare a treatment plan for you including these things. Be sure to pay attention to them as religiously as your Surgery.

3 people found this helpful

Diagnosing the Cause of Chest Pain!

Dr. Anil Dhall 86% (17 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
Diagnosing the Cause of Chest Pain!

In addition to pumping blood to various organs, the heart also has its own blood supply, through which it receives its oxygen and nutrient supply. In patients with coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, there is a narrowing of the blood vessels which reduces the amount of blood flow to the target organs, including the heart.

When this happens in the heart, there is chest pain due to overexertion of the heart muscles. There could be two patterns to this chest pain. With regular exertion like exercise, there would be chest pain, and most patients are familiar with this pattern.

This is known as angina pectoris or stable angina. In some people or in some instances, chest pain occurs which is sudden and not of a predictable pattern. It could be related to extreme exertion or stress. This is known as unstable angina and can lead to heart attack and be life-threatening.

Stable angina or angina pectoris has a stable, predictable pattern which most patients get familiar with over a period of time and learn to manage. Read on to know more about the signs and symptoms and management techniques.

Signs and symptoms: Stable angina usually occurs after a round of physical exertion. The patient feels a feeling of tightness in the chest which feels like the chest being squeezed. The pain can gradually spread to the shoulder, arms and even the neck. The pain can also be induced by eating, exposure to cold, emotional stress. It lasts for about 15 minutes and is relieved by rest and sublingual nitroglycerin. The pain intensity does not change with position or coughing. In addition, the patient may also experience shortness of breath, fatigue, profuse sweating, nausea, and dizziness.

The patient may be able to detect signs on further testing including ECG, echocardiography and stress testing. Features like cardiomegaly, altered ejection fraction would be detected based on the severity of the disease.

Treatment: Immediate treatment to relieve the pain includes resting and sublingual nitroglycerin. On an ongoing basis, the treatment would include 3 approaches – lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery.

  1. Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, smoking cessation, reduced fat intake, reduced alcohol consumption, weight loss, and stress management are some lifestyle changes to be made to improve symptoms.
  2. Medications: A number of medications would be used depending on patient’s symptoms. Aspirin to prevent clotting, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol and diabetes.
  3. Surgery: In patients with advanced coronary artery disease, revascularization methods may be required, which includes angioplasty and coronary bypass.

In a person with known risk factors, it is advisable to have regular checkups so that the disease progression can be controlled and symptoms managed with minimal intervention.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3448 people found this helpful

Chest Pain - What Causes It?

Dr. Avinash Vilas Wankhede 89% (1502 ratings)
Clinical Cardiology, MD - Consultant Physician
Cardiologist, Surat
Chest Pain - What Causes It?

In addition to pumping blood to various organs, the heart also has its own blood supply, through which it receives its oxygen and nutrient supply. In patients with coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, there is a narrowing of the blood vessels which reduces the amount of blood flow to the target organs, including the heart.

When this happens in the heart, there is chest pain due to overexertion of the heart muscles. There could be two patterns to this chest pain. With regular exertion like exercise, there would be chest pain, and most patients are familiar with this pattern.

This is known as angina pectoris or stable angina. In some people or in some instances, chest pain occurs which is sudden and not of a predictable pattern. It could be related to extreme exertion or stress. This is known as unstable angina and can lead to heart attack and be life-threatening.

Stable angina or angina pectoris has a stable, predictable pattern which most patients get familiar with over a period of time and learn to manage. Read on to know more about the signs and symptoms and management techniques.

Signs and symptoms: Stable angina usually occurs after a round of physical exertion. The patient feels a feeling of tightness in the chest which feels like the chest being squeezed. The pain can gradually spread to the shoulder, arms and even the neck. The pain can also be induced by eating, exposure to cold, emotional stress. It lasts for about 15 minutes and is relieved by rest and sublingual nitroglycerin. The pain intensity does not change with position or coughing. In addition, the patient may also experience shortness of breath, fatigue, profuse sweating, nausea, and dizziness.

The patient may be able to detect signs on further testing including ECG, echocardiography and stress testing. Features like cardiomegaly, altered ejection fraction would be detected based on the severity of the disease.

Treatment: Immediate treatment to relieve the pain includes resting and sublingual nitroglycerin. On an ongoing basis, the treatment would include 3 approaches – lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery.

  1. Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, smoking cessation, reduced fat intake, reduced alcohol consumption, weight loss, and stress management are some lifestyle changes to be made to improve symptoms.
  2. Medications: A number of medications would be used depending on patient’s symptoms. Aspirin to prevent clotting, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol and diabetes.
  3. Surgery: In patients with advanced coronary artery disease, revascularization methods may be required, which includes angioplasty and coronary bypass.

In a person with known risk factors, it is advisable to have regular checkups so that the disease progression can be controlled and symptoms managed with minimal intervention.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4798 people found this helpful

Predictable Chest Pain Pattern - What Does It Indicate?

Dr. Balaji Ramagiri 92% (204 ratings)
MBBS, DM - Cardiology, MD
Cardiologist, Hyderabad
Predictable Chest Pain Pattern - What Does It Indicate?

In addition to pumping blood to various organs, the heart also has its own blood supply, through which it receives its oxygen and nutrient supply. In patients with coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, there is a narrowing of the blood vessels which reduces the amount of blood flow to the target organs, including the heart.

When this happens in the heart, there is chest pain due to overexertion of the heart muscles. There could be two patterns to this chest pain. With regular exertion like exercise, there would be chest pain, and most patients are familiar with this pattern.

This is known as angina pectoris or stable angina. In some people or in some instances, chest pain occurs which is sudden and not of a predictable pattern. It could be related to extreme exertion or stress. This is known as unstable angina and can lead to heart attack and be life-threatening.

Stable angina or angina pectoris has a stable, predictable pattern which most patients get familiar with over a period of time and learn to manage. Read on to know more about the signs and symptoms and management techniques.

Signs and symptoms: Stable angina usually occurs after a round of physical exertion. The patient feels a feeling of tightness in the chest which feels like the chest being squeezed. The pain can gradually spread to the shoulder, arms and even the neck. The pain can also be induced by eating, exposure to cold, emotional stress. It lasts for about 15 minutes and is relieved by rest and sublingual nitroglycerin. The pain intensity does not change with position or coughing. In addition, the patient may also experience shortness of breath, fatigue, profuse sweating, nausea, and dizziness.

The patient may be able to detect signs on further testing including ECG, echocardiography and stress testing. Features like cardiomegaly, altered ejection fraction would be detected based on the severity of the disease.

Treatment: Immediate treatment to relieve the pain includes resting and sublingual nitroglycerin. On an ongoing basis, the treatment would include 3 approaches – lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery.

  1. Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, smoking cessation, reduced fat intake, reduced alcohol consumption, weight loss, and stress management are some lifestyle changes to be made to improve symptoms.
  2. Medications: A number of medications would be used depending on patient’s symptoms. Aspirin to prevent clotting, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol and diabetes.
  3. Surgery: In patients with advanced coronary artery disease, revascularization methods may be required, which includes angioplasty and coronary bypass.

In a person with known risk factors, it is advisable to have regular checkups so that the disease progression can be controlled and symptoms managed with minimal intervention. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.

3714 people found this helpful

What Does Predictable Chest Pain Pattern Indicate?

Dr. Nishith Chandra 91% (695 ratings)
DM Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
What Does Predictable Chest Pain Pattern Indicate?

In addition to pumping blood to various organs, the heart also has its own blood supply, through which it receives its oxygen and nutrient supply. In patients with coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, there is a narrowing of the blood vessels which reduces the amount of blood flow to the target organs, including the heart.

When this happens in the heart, there is chest pain due to overexertion of the heart muscles. There could be two patterns to this chest pain. With regular exertion like exercise, there would be chest pain, and most patients are familiar with this pattern.

This is known as angina pectoris or stable angina. In some people or in some instances, chest pain occurs which is sudden and not of a predictable pattern. It could be related to extreme exertion or stress. This is known as unstable angina and can lead to heart attack and be life-threatening.

Stable angina or angina pectoris has a stable, predictable pattern which most patients get familiar with over a period of time and learn to manage. Read on to know more about the signs and symptoms and management techniques.

Signs and symptoms: Stable angina usually occurs after a round of physical exertion. The patient feels a feeling of tightness in the chest which feels like the chest being squeezed. The pain can gradually spread to the shoulder, arms and even the neck. The pain can also be induced by eating, exposure to cold, emotional stress. It lasts for about 15 minutes and is relieved by rest and sublingual nitroglycerin. The pain intensity does not change with position or coughing. In addition, the patient may also experience shortness of breath, fatigue, profuse sweating, nausea, and dizziness.
The patient may be able to detect signs on further testing including ECG, echocardiography and stress testing. Features like cardiomegaly, altered ejection fraction would be detected based on the severity of the disease.

Treatment: Immediate treatment to relieve the pain includes resting and sublingual nitroglycerin. On an ongoing basis, the treatment would include 3 approaches – lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery.

  1. Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, smoking cessation, reduced fat intake, reduced alcohol consumption, weight loss, and stress management are some lifestyle changes to be made to improve symptoms.
  2. Medications: A number of medications would be used depending on patient’s symptoms. Aspirin to prevent clotting, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol and diabetes.
  3. Surgery: In patients with advanced coronary artery disease, revascularization methods may be required, which includes angioplasty and coronary bypass.

In a person with known risk factors, it is advisable to have regular checkups so that the disease progression can be controlled and symptoms managed with minimal intervention.

1911 people found this helpful
Icon

Book appointment with top doctors for ECHO (Echocardiography) treatment

View fees, clinic timings and reviews