Lesson 6 of 6
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Echocardiographic Evaluation

Echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) is one of the most clinically useful and informative tools for evaluating the heart and investigating the potential for heart disease. It non-invasively yields anatomical (structural) AND functional information about the heart chambers, heart valves, great vessels, and surrounding structures (pericardium). Echocardiography utilizes a variety of modalities to produce a reasonably comprehensive evaluation of the heart

Echocardiography may be indicated in a variety of clinical scenarios, including:

  • investigation of heart murmurs
  • add…

What echocardiography CAN and CAN’T do

In a majority of cases, it can yield a definitive diagnosis on type of acquired or congenital heart disease present. Although echocardiography cannot definitively determine if heart failure is present (that is, the adequacy of cardiac performance), it can provide strong evidence to support or refute the presence of heart failure.

CHANGE this whole section…Echocardiography can detect:

  • Changes in chamber dimensions and wall thicknesses which can suggest the etiology of congenital or acquired heart disorders
  • Chronic valvular disease
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Pericardial disease
  • Bacterial endocarditis
  • Cardiac tumours
  • Doppler echocardiography can be used to detect and quantify stenotic and insufficient valvular heart disease and pulmonary artery hypertension
  • Diastolic disorders of myocardial function

The Two-Dimensional Echocardiographic Exam

*Intro goes here, including acoustic windows with diagrams*

Right Parasternal Long Axis Views

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Right Parasternal Short Axis Views

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Need to get one of these…missing from my normal dog set

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Left Parasternal Apical Views

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Left Parasternal Cranial Views

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Doppler echocardiography

Doppler echocardiography allows for the detection of abnormal blood flow patterns as well as the velocity of blood cells as they move throughout the heart.

Doppler echocardiography allows for the diagnosis and quantification of the severity of:

  • stenotic valvular disorders
  • valvular insufficiency disorders
  • septal defects
  • pulmonary artery hypertension
  • intracavitary stenotic disorders
  • diastolic disorders
  • wall motion abnormalities