Advanced cardiologic investigation - echocardiography, holter monitoring
The investigation of the heart by echocardiography is performed at Academica Medical Centre by famous cardiology specialists and their wide experience in the field and unique performance of the echocardiography equipment available at the clinic lead to a correct, complete and fast diagnosis "“ an essential element for the subsequent clinical course.
The cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography) is an exploration method of the heart by means of ultrasounds, through which sections (slices) of the heart are seen on a screen, and in this sections we can measure the dimensions of the 4 cardiac cavities (left atrium, left ventricle, right atrium, right ventricle), as well as the dimensions of the great vessels that come to the heart (inferior vena cava) and that leave from the heart (aortic artery). The measurement of the dimensions of the cavities of the heart provides important data about the systolic function (emptying of the heart) and diastolic function (filling of the heart). In addition, the cardiac ultrasound allows a very reliable and sure assessment of the structure and function of the valves of the heart (mitral valve, aortic valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve). The Doppler method added to the ultrasound allows the measurement of the velocity of the blood in any point of the heart, making it possible to identify the insufficiency or stenosis of the valves. Not last, the ultrasound also allows the assessment of the pericardium (the membrane that covers the heart).
There are several ways of performing the ultrasound: M mode ultrasound, bidimensional ultrasound, Doppler examination - pulsed, spectral and color. All these methods provide complementary information and are used to perform a complete cardiac assessment.
Echocardiography is by far the most important and widely used imaging method in cardiology, because of costs more reduced compared to other imaging methods (computed tomography, cardiac scintigraphy, cardiac catheterism) and because it is radiation-free, which is why it can be repeated any times it is necessary in order to follow the clinical course of the disease of a patient with cardiac problems. Today it is considered that echocardiography brings much more information than a usual consultation and cardiology cannot be practically imagined without echocardiography. Because many diseases can be recognized through echocardiography much earlier than they show up through a symptom, the method can help in the early diagnosis of heart diseases. This is why echocardiography is recommended to any patient with a heart condition or to any patient who has one or more cardiac symptoms in order to determine the cause of the cardiac pain, rhythm disorders (palpitations), cardiac failure events or to determine the congenital cardiac abnormalities both in children, and in adults. The patient who undergoes the investigation does not require a previous preparation to perform this procedure.
By all information that it provides and by its simplicity, the cardiac ultrasound has become a routine method in the diagnosis, assessment of severity and treatment guidance for the majority of cardiovascular conditions. It is used both in cardiovascular emergencies, and in chronic diseases.
- determination of a certain diagnosis when clinical data are not enough for this;
- exclusion of other conditions with similar clinical setting;
- dentification of the causes of the diagnosed condition;
- assessment of the severity of the cardiac impairment;
- evaluation of the hemodynamic consequences of the pathologies of the valves;
- determination of the optimum moment for a surgical intervention;
- determination of the intervention (prosthesis or valvuloplasty);
- selection of the medication treatment and follow-up of its long-term and short-term effects in chronic diseases (heart failure, systemic arterial hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, etc.);
- determination of the prognosis and stratification of risk.
Doppler ultrasound offers:
- valuable elements for diagnosis in case of cardiomyopathies, facilitating the process of the differential diagnosis;
- very good utility in the assessment of the diastolic function and assessment of the filling pressure of the left ventricle, parameters with diagnosis and therapeutic implications and significant prognosis.
At Academica Medical Centre these investigations are performed by means of an advanced system which offers images with an increased quality compared to other similar devices. The images acquired during the examination or a part of them can be stored on CD-R, DVD-R or other media. It also allows the creation of reports about the patient and examination, which contain measurements, images and analyses which were performed during the examination.