An echocardiogram (ECG) or echo test is a heart monitoring test that uses ultrasound. High-pitched sound waves bounce off various areas of the heart. This information is used to create pictures of the chambers, blood vessels, and chamber walls of the heart muscle. It is like an ultrasound that is used by obstetricians for parents to see their unborn child. An echocardiogram takes about an hour to complete. During the test you may need to hold your breath or change positions to improve the viewing of the ultrasound device.
A heart murmur involves the sound of your blood pumping in your heart. If there are difficulties passing blood through the heart valve, this could be a murmur. Murmurs also involve the heart pumping blood too rapidly, which causes the heart to speed up. Children commonly have innocent heart murmurs that are not dangerous, unless associated with congenital heart disease. For adults who have an abnormal heart murmur this is commonly associated with heart valve problems. It can also be related to cardiac shunts or holes in the heart. If you are experiencing the signs of a murmur, i.e. a rapidly beating heart, it is a good idea to see your cardiologist for testing.
If you suspect that you have a heart murmur your cardiologist in Maywood, NJ can test for this. Dr. Panagiotou will use an echo test or echocardiogram to evaluate the overall condition of your heart. This allows him to detect any value problems or holes in the heart chamber walls, which could be the cause of the murmur. By getting a heart evaluation you stand the greatest chance of early detection and appropriate treatment for a heart murmur.
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