HYGEIA Hospital
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HYGEIA Hospital Tirana
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Cardiac Ultrasound

  • Cardiac Ultrasound

Echocardiography is considered one of the most fundamental and widespread imaging techniques for assessing heart conditions. It is reliable, painless and may be repeated as many times as needed in order to study the heart ventricles and valves.

What it visualizes

The method is based on the emission of very high-frequency sounds (i.e. sounds that cannot be detected by the human ear), which when reflected return to the transducer (the device the physician places on the chest) and are then converted into images with the help of computers. Therefore, by sending a beam of ultrasounds between the ribs of the chest, the physician is able to examine the beating heart. This assists in better studying and accurately measuring the heart ventricles, while offering the possibility of assessing the contractility of the ventricles and the function of the heart valves.

Color Doppler echocardiogram (triplex)

It is one of the most comprehensive and bloodless tests for examining the heart and the functions of the cardiac valves. Apart from the morphological information obtained by a simple echocardiogram, the addition of color offers the possibility of recording the speed with which the blood passes through the valves. With the use of special computers, it is then possible to understand if they function correctly.

Echocardiogram stress test (stress echo)

It is a dynamic exam that has been established in the last 15 years as an alternative bloodless technique for diagnosing coronary disease and assessing coronary patients in general. It is a special U/S scan that is based on the administration of IV medication so as to tire the heart. During the procedure, it tries to depict whether the force with which the heart muscle contracts is affected, thus indirectly establishing whether there are obstructions in the coronary vessels.

Transesophageal echocardiogram

It is an exam performed similarly to a gastroscopy. The transducer is inserted into the esophagus through the mouth, bringing it as close as possible to the heart, so as to visually represent the cardiac ventricles and valves in great detail. This method may be used in all cases where access via the chest wall does not offer satisfactory images. It is used on 5-10% of patients requiring echocardiographic assessment.

Perioperative-Transesophageal echocardiogram

This exam offers the possibility of monitoring patients during cardiothoracic surgical procedures, thus increasing the possibility of accurately evaluating the pathology of patients (preoperatively), their hemodynamic condition (perioperatively) and the results of the procedure (immediately postoperatively). The most significant contribution of this method is the immediate correction of remaining damages revealed postoperatively.

3D echocardiogram

This is essentially a 3D representation of the heart. It offers the possibility of studying the anatomy of the heart with greater accuracy and in greater detail. It is an extremely useful method for valvulopathies and congenital conditions, where surgeons receive more accurate and detailed information on the type of surgery and the surgical method to be performed.
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