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What is a Cardiac Ultrasound?

A cardiac ultrasound is a useful tool for cardiologists in Phoenix to determine a variety of issues going on with the heart. The cardiac ultrasound, also known as the echocardiogram, has been one of the most widely used diagnostic tests for determining the existence of heart disease for over 50 years.

Every year there are over 1 million Americans who die from a heart attack, of which nearly 50% of the cases of death could have been avoided. There is an equal number of individuals diagnosed with cardiovascular disease every year.

In the United States, stroke is the third leading cause of death. These numbers are alarming and prevention is required to decrease the chances of developing heart disease.

When Should Echocardiography Be Done?

If your Arizona heart doctor suspects heart disease, echocardiography can be used to diagnose the condition. Pumping capacity, weakened flow, damaged areas of the heart and overall shape may be viewed through the echocardiogram images.

One of the biggest advantages of the cardiac ultrasound is that the procedure is non-invasive, with no known risks or side effects. Your Phoenix cardiologist can use the tool to shed light on any symptoms that may be occurring. Heart structures and any abnormalities can be revealed through the ultrasound images produced.

Types of Cardiac Ultrasounds

There are a variety of echocardiograms that can be used to assess the heart and check for damage or disease. A cardiac stress test is one of the most common types of tests conducted. A stress test uses a cardiac ultrasound to assess wall motion of the heart during activity. Images of the heart are taken at rest and then during exercise, such as walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle. The images taken at rest are the patient’s baseline when the heart is resting.

A 3-dimensional echocardiograph is another common type of cardiac ultrasound. This test presents a highly detailed look at the heart and cardiac pathology through 3-D images. Different locations of the heart can be revealed and assessed for problems, damage, weak flow or disease.

There are a few other types of cardiac ultrasounds, although less common. Contrast echocardiography adds a contrast medium to the standard ultrasound and is much like adding an introduction agent. This type of test reveals circulation patterns and flow through the introduction of microbubbles that travel through the circulatory system.

Your cardiologist in Mesa can discuss with you all of the options available for testing, especially if heart disease is suspected. It is important to report any symptoms you may have and avoid prolonging treatment.

Dr. Yasir Batres is the Medical Director at AZ Heart Doctor and a Board Certified Cardiologist with offices in Mesa AZ and Tempe. His practice offers comprehensive noninterventional cardiology services and accepts most insurances. Call (480) 300-4646 today for more information and scheduling!

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