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Ultrasound Testing

Diagnostic ultrasound is the use of sound waves to visually examine the heart and other components and structures of the circulatory system. There are two common types of ultrasound testing: non-intrusive and intrusive.

Echocardiogram (Non-Intrusive)

The standard cardiac ultrasound test, known as an echocardiogram or echo, is a non-intrusive test in which the sonographer positions a transducer probe against your chest and captures dozens of pictures and videos of your heart. Then, the “reading physician” reviews these materials to document the condition of the chambers, valves and throughput of the heart and surrounding structures.

Sometimes, echocardiography is combined with exercise in order to examine the heart and its motion when it is beating faster. This type of test is called a Stress Echo. Such tests can allow the reading physician to understand events that occur only when your heart is under strain.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (Intrusive)

A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a cardiac ultrasound test that uses a special probe positioned through the mouth down the esophagus until it is adjacent to the heart. When the transducer is positioned this way it results in improved images as the distance to the heart is substantially reduced. This allows your doctor to see images that might be missed with conventional ultrasound.

Vascular Ultrasound (Non-Intrusive)

Vascular testing (sometimes referred to as a “Doppler Study”) is the examination of blood circulation and structures of the arteries and veins of the body in areas other than the heart such as: the arms, legs, stomach, neck etc. A vascular ultrasound examination can detect blockages in the blood vessels as well as blood clots and other problems. As with cardiac ultrasound, both pictures and videos of blood flow in  various blood vessels are captured for analysis.

Vascular testing is a non-intrusive and painless test. It may be used to check for, or to rule out, many types of problems with blood circulation. For example, vascular ultrasound is commonly used in the diagnosis of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a type of blood clot that can form in the interior veins of the leg or thigh causing tell-tale symptoms such as: pain, swelling or warm spots.

Zambito Heart Center provides a full array of cardiac and vascular ultrasound testing for complete assessment of the circulatory system.