In conclusion, screening echocardiograms among older adults attending capitated multi-specialty medical centers identifies a significant number of patients with stage B Heart Failure. Clinicians who care for elderly patients are often faced with a dilemma when called upon to differentiate between symptoms that could be attributed to cardiac disease, pulmonary disease or simply deconditioning of the patient.
Doctors use TEE to find problems in your heart’s structure and function. TEE can give clearer pictures of the upper chambers of the heart, and the valves between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, than standard echocardiograms.
I have seen or heard of these technologies for the past few years, but for the first time I saw them all moving forward and starting to coalesce into real, tangible products.
Goodbye flat images. Hello holography. Sometime in the not-too-far-distant future cardiologists may work with projected 3D holograms of the heart instead of images on a flat screen. And this is just the beginning of a technology-driven transformation of cardiology.
Consider how the savviest, and wealthiest, organizations now protect their athletes. Ninety-two percent of American professional athletes get screening EKGs. Following the death of Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier in 2005, all NBA players get a cardiac ultrasound—an even more reliable, if expensive, test than an EKG—to exclude causes of sudden death.
I sent the patient for another echocardiogram. It showed a heart pumping hard but constrained inside a shrunken, thickened pericardium, unable to process the normal measure of blood.
Telling clinicians how they're doing called a powerful tool in reducing unnecessary echocardiograms.
Using sound waves transmitted through a wandlike device applied to the chest, echocardiograms show the heart’s walls in motion, the tiny valves flipping open and closed and the blood streaming through them. They can be vital before surgery in patients with weak hearts, because general anesthesia and blood loss during surgery can bring out otherwise silent problems.
Echocardiography is a safe, noninvasive tool to image the heart without the use of radiation. For this reason it has become the most frequently used method to look at the heart for a wide variety of medical indications.
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Using standard ultrasound techniques, two-dimensional slices of the heart can be imaged.
The latest ultrasound systems now employ 3D real-time imaging.