2D Echocardiography & Color Doppler
What is 2D Echocardiography colour Doppler?
2D Echocardiography is a unique noninvasive method for imaging the heart. It is based on detection of echoes produced by a beam of ultrasound (very high frequency sound) waves transmitted into the heart through a transducer which a small hand-held device, which are reflected back from the heart walls and valves, to produce two-dimensional images of selected cardiac sections and the paracardiac structures with the great blood vessels arising from the heart.
Echocardiography provides information about the structure and the function of the heart. It can detect and quantify the severity of most congenital or acquired heart disorders, and may suggest the cause. We perform this test in adults, children and also in pregnant women to detect any cardiac abnormality in the growing fetus.
A Color Doppler, which is done at the same time, is an important complement to the two-dimensional image. It provides a visual multicolor display of the blood flow within the heart. It provides unique hemodynamic information otherwise not available without invasive monitoring.
The swishing sounds heard during the test indicate blood flowing through the valves and chambers.
The information obtained from this test is complementary to that obtained from a stress test. We come to know the state of the heart anatomy, the size, the function, the state of the valves and in children a complete assessment of holes in the heart etc.
What are the Pre-test instructions?
- Patient need not be fasting and can eat and drink normal diet before the test.
- Take all the regular medications unless directed otherwise by the physician.
- Bring all the prior investigations and reports along.
- In case of infants, it is important to prevent the child from sleeping before the scheduled time for the test and also do not feed the infant at least one hour prior to the test.
How is the test performed?
Since the transducer must be placed directly on the chest wall or upper abdomen, patient will be asked to disrobe accordingly. Then patient will be asked to lie down on the left side and then the doctor will place the transducer with a jelly applied to it, on the chest wall at various positions and record images.
In case of children and infants usually, a short lasting sedation will be given in form of a oral medicine- pedichloryl (Triclofos sodium) to facilitate a complete evaluation of the heart without any resistance from them.
What are the risks?
There are no risks involved with the use of ultrasound waves and the transducer and there are no contraindications for this test.
What happens after the test?
- Patient can carry on all the regular activities and take all the routine medications after the test.
- In case of children and infants who have been sedated for the test, it is important not to feed the child until he/ she is fully awake.