Coronary heart disease is a serious issue and one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but fortunately, coronary heart disease treatment can help make living with the condition easier and reduce the risk of a heart attack and other serious symptoms from occurring.In order to fully understand the various forms of…
Reasons a Cardiologist May Order an Echocardiogram
Cardiologists use echocardiogram to get a clear idea of a person’s heart health. They may order an echocardiogram during a routine check-up or during diagnostics to address the underlying cause of heart-related symptoms. This review discusses the various purposes of an echocardiogram among cardiologists.
What is the purpose of an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram, also called an “echo” or an “echo test,” is a common, non-invasive diagnostic procedure that takes an ultrasound of the heart. Through the use of high-frequency sound waves, it produces an image of heart valves and chambers and allows cardiologists to detect abnormalities with heart function.
Ensure optimal heart health and function
Cardiologists do not always have a specific reason for ordering an echocardiogram. In some cases, one may be ordered to simply ensure a patient does not have any issues related to their heart even if they are not showing symptoms. This is particularly true for individuals who may be at a higher risk of heart disease.
Determine the cause of heart-related symptoms
If a patient has symptoms of heart disease, then there is a good chance the cardiologist will want to see images produced by an echocardiogram to determine if the patient is at risk of a heart attack or another heart-related condition. The most notable early symptoms of heart disease that may indicate a need for an echocardiogram include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain or numbness in the extremities, and neck pain.
Check the status of a heart murmur
A heart murmur is not always a bad thing, but it can be a sign of a more serious concern that requires treatment. A heart murmur is an irregular sound of blood traveling between heartbeats. One may be detected during a regular check-up with the use of a stethoscope. If the cardiologist believes the heart murmur requires additional evaluation to determine the cause and if there are any other concerns, then an echocardiogram may be ordered.
Evaluate how well medical or surgical treatments are working
A cardiologist may also order an echocardiogram after certain heart-related treatments or surgeries. For example, they may order an echocardiogram after the placement of a coronary stent to help ensure the optimal function of the heart.
Determine heart activity during physical exercise
Some individuals only experience heart-related concerns during strenuous physical exercise. If this is believed to possibly be the case, then the cardiologist may order what is known as a stress echocardiogram to evaluate the heart during physical exercise. This involves having the patient do something strenuous such as ride a bike during the echocardiogram.
Schedule a visit with our cardiologist to learn more
Our cardiologist may order an echocardiogram to determine if there are any heart-related issues that need addressing. This can help us take action to reduce the risk of heart disease if necessary. To learn more about heart health and echocardiograms, call our cardiologist today to schedule a visit at a time that is convenient for you.
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