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All You Need to Know About Echocardiogram

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Echocardiograms are considered safe as unlike other imaging techniques such as X-rays and CT scans, this test is free from radiation.

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound scan used to check the heart and nearby blood vessels for any abnormalities. It is a painless and noninvasive test. This ultrasound procedure of the heart doesn’t emit radiation. Echocardiography is a rapid, portable, safe and widely available process of diagnosis for heart ailments.

But, when does the doctor recommend this type of medical procedure to a patient? The cardiologists suggest echocardiogram for the patients based on clinical indications, routine surveillance of pulmonary hypertension and cardiac examinations. Echocardiogram also helps to diagnose suspected cardiovascular diseases in individuals who have dengue fever, are obese, have a snoring history. The test may also be prescribed for pregnant women, who complain about breathlessness.

It also helps in the re-evaluation of known ascending aortic dilation or history of aortic dissection to establish a baseline rate of expansion. The ultrasound also helps to make an initial evaluation of suspected infective endocarditis with positive blood cultures or a new murmur.

As per Dr Uday Jadhav, Consultant Cardiologist at MGM New Bombay Hospital, as reported by HT Lifestyle, the appropriate use criteria (AUC) in this ultrasound are essential tools for aligning the indications of echocardiography with the best clinical standards, improving clinical outcomes, and preserving healthcare resources.

What are the risks?

Echocardiograms are considered safe as unlike other imaging techniques such as X-rays and CT scans, this test is free from radiation.

Echocardiography may reveal irregularities such as damage to the heart muscles, heart defects, abnormal cardiac chamber size, problems with pumping function, stiffness of the heart, valve problems and clot in the arteries of the heart among others. Timely diagnosis of any existing abnormalities could help to prevent serious ailments like heart attack or cardiac arrest.

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