Echo can also identify areas of heart muscle that are contracting well because of poor blood flow or injury from a heart attack, detect possible blood clots, fluid build up and problems with the aorta.
Bubble echocardiography uses tiny gas bubbles injected into the blood stream to help the MCMC | OHSU Cardiology physicians visualize the heart and its function with greater detail than available through traditional echocardiography.
Our newest heart specialist, Dr. Kevin Wei, is one of the leading experts in the use of this technology.
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 the chest or abdominal wall.
- Stress echocardiogram. During this test, an echocardiogram is done both before and after the heart is stressed either by having the patient exercise or by injecting a medicine that makes the heart beat harder and faster. A stress echocardiogram is usually done to find out if a patient might have decreased blood flow to the 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 the heart and blood vessels. Doppler measurements may be displayed in black and white or in color.
- Echo can be used as part of a stress test and with an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) to help your doctor learn more about your heart.
Test descriptions courtesy of WebMD