What is 2D Echo?
It is a test in which ultrasound is used to picture out the heart. It is capable of displaying a cross sectional “slice” of the beating heart, including the chambers, valves and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right part of the heart.
“Doppler” is a special part of the ultrasound exam that assesses blood flow (direction and velocity). Doppler exam shows the flow of blood as it makes its way through and out of the heart. One would hear “swishing” or “whooshing” sounds during this part of the procedure.
What information does Echocardiography and Doppler provide?
- Echocardiography is an important tool in providing the doctors with important information of the following:
- Size of the chambers, dimension, volume and the thickness of the walls
- Pumping function: one can tell if the pumping power of the heart is normal or reduced to a mild or severe degree
- Valve function: it identifies the structure, thickness and movement of each heart valve
- Volume status: Low blood pressure can occur in the setting of poor heart function but may also be seen in reduced volume of circulating blood
- Others: “pericardial effusion” or fluid in the pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart), congenital heart disease, blood clots or tumors within the heart, active infection of the heart valves, abnormal elevation of pressure within the lungs