Our Services: Echocardiography

Echocardiography has long been the mainstay of diagnostic imaging in structural heart disease.  Common conditions such as Atrioventricular Septal Defects are readily diagosed during echocardiographic evaluation.  Recent developments in cardiac ultrasound have transformed the practice of pediatric cardiology. Advances in transducer design and data processing have made it possible for the first time to image the beating heart in 3-dimensions, providing the interventionalist and surgeon a 3D image to better plan and perform therapeutic procedures.

“There is simply no substitute for being able to non-invasively look inside the patient’s heart and thoroughly understand the details of the anatomy before the surgeon even makes an incision”, says Maribeth Hourihan M.D., Director of the Pediatric Echocardiography Laboratory.

Transesophageal echocardiography also provides crucial information during interventional cardiac catheterizations to ensure the best possible procedural outcomes. Congenital Heart performed 4324 transthoracic and 163 transesophageal studies in 2012. The Division of Pediatric Cardiology also provides fetal echocardiography service in the state allowing time for both parents and physicians to plan for the birth of a child with congenital heart disease.

Services provided include:

  • Transthoracic & Transesophageal Echocardiography:
    Ultrasound waves are used to examine the cardiac anatomy,  function, and blood flow.
  • Fetal Echocardiography:
    Ultrasound waves are used to examine the structure, function and rhythm of the fetal heart. Counseling on the diagnosis, management and implications for pregnancy, labor and perinatal care are provided. Care is provided in close collaboration with your obstetrician (Figure 1).
  • Exercise Stress Testing / Ultrasound Stress Testing:
    These tests screen for muscle dysfunction, arrhythmias and causes of syncope.