Sometimes it may be difficult, even for doctors, to understand the state of your heart. To learn more about your heart, your cardiovascular doctor will need to know if your heart movements are normal or not. However, a simple x-ray report is not enough to record heart rhythms and movements. For such situations, an echocardiogram may be necessary. Understanding normal vs abnormal echocardiograms can be the deciding factor for your heart health and care.
A normal person can not understand the echocardiogram as it requires special training. Not every doctor can perform the echocardiogram because it requires additional sonography certification. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe you the test and recommend you the right place to visit for the test. Once you have the test report, bring it to your doctor, and your treatment will continue.
What is an Echocardiogram
The echocardiogram is like an ultrasound. The difference is that both reports are based on different parameters. Equipment, procedure, and observation are very similar for ultrasound and echocardiogram. However, during an echocardiogram, the doctor will observe every beat of your heart visually. The movement of every artery is observed, and pressure readings are converted into human-readable form.
Additionally, the heartbeat rate and intervals between every beat are also added to the reports. The doctor will also determine the size of your heart, the strength of your arteries, and how open your valves are. An echocardiogram can easily identify clogged valves and arteries if your valves are getting clogged because of cholesterol.
Procedure of Echocardiogram
The procedure of performing an echocardiogram is similar to an ultrasound. The steps are as follows:
- You take off your clothes from the waist up and lay down on a couch or medical bed.
- The sonographer will attach several electrolytes and sound wave transducers to your chest.
- The sonographer will ask you to hold your breath multiple times during the test.
These are the only three main steps. The rest is up to the sonographer, and you do not have to do anything. However, the sonographer may ask some questions about your test regarding your medical history. Ensure not to hide anything from them, as it could cause complications during your treatment.
A normal echocardiogram will record the walls of your arteries to be thinner than 1.5 cm. Additionally, it will record the pumping action of your heart to be normal and without obstruction or difficulty. The size and mass of your heart will also be normal, not smaller or bigger than the average size.
An abnormal echocardiogram will record the walls of your arteries to be thicker than 1.5 cm. This will cause difficulty in blood flow. The movement of the heart may be off from usual patterns. Additionally, the size and mass of the heart can be smaller or bigger than average. Overall the physical state of your heart can be out of the ordinary.
Normal vs Abnormal Echocardiogram
Comparing normal vs abnormal echocardiogram reports simply means comparing healthy to unhealthy stats. The echocardiogram is the quickest diagnosis if you feel any cardiovascular health problems.