The Echocardiography Lab at the Smidt Heart Institute specializes in difficult-to-diagnose clinical cases. To aid clinical decision-making, we integrate physiologic and anatomic data from the echocardiogram with the patient’s clinical history, which also contributes to improved clinical outcomes. The lab operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to handle routine requests at any time and to allow doctors to make expedited diagnoses in emergency medical situations.
All of our echocardiologists are certified by the National Board of Echocardiography and are highly skilled in making an accurate and comprehensive interpretation of your echocardiogram. Our sonographers are certified through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Cardiovascular Credentialing International. These professionals achieved excellence in the field of cardiac ultrasonography.
Our Echocardiography Lab is also involved in globally renowned research in valve disorders and cardiac stem cell transplants.
What Is an Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a diagnostic test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to take moving pictures of your heart as it contracts in real time.
With an echocardiogram, your doctor can learn about the size, shape and movement of your heart muscle. An echocardiogram can also show how the heart valves are working and how blood flows through your heart, giving your doctor valuable information about your arteries.
Types of Echocardiograms
There are many types of echocardiograms, including:
- 3-D echocardiograms
- Bubble studies
- Carotid intima-media thickness tests (IMT)
- Contrast echocardiograms
- Dobutamine stress echocardiograms
- Exercise stress echocardiograms
- Strain imaging echocardiograms
- Stress pacing echocardiograms
- Transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE)
- Transesophageal echocardiograms (TEE)
Why Do I Need an Echocardiogram?
Echocardiograms are used for many purposes, including pre-surgery clearance, and to look at the durability of previous cardiac repairs. It may also be ordered as a follow-up to an abnormal electrocardiogram (EKG). Your doctor may order an echocardiogram for diagnosis of many conditions, including: