Echocardiogram, also called a sonogram, is a heart’s image formed by an Echocardiograph. It helps to estimate the different heart functions, like calculation of the cardiac output, ejection fraction, and diastolic function (how well the heart relaxes), heart valves and pressure gradient.
Echocardiography is the diagnostic imaging technique that produces the heart’s pictures using ultrasound technique. It normally creates images using 2 Dimensional, 3 Dimensional and Doppler ultrasound.
Echocardiograph also provides important data about the heart, like its shape and size, its pumping capacity and the area and the magnitude of tissue damage, if any.
The common types of cardiograph found in most hospitals nowadays are:
2D Echo Cardiograph
Two-dimensional echocardiography is the cross-sectional view of the beating heart, which will show its chambers, valves and major blood vessels. Doppler Effect is made use of to assess the blood flow in the heart.
3D Echo Cardiograph
The 3D echocardiography is the heart’s 3D visual image, especially the heart valves. It uses a matrix array ultrasound probe and processing system that allows for a detailed anatomical assessment of the cardiac pathology.
The 3D Echocardiography technique splits the virtual heart in infinite planes and rebuilds the 3D images of the anatomical structures for a better perception of the damaged heart.
4D Echo Cardiograph
4D Echocardiograph adds motion to a 3D viewing to the heart’s ultrasound. This helps to view both an adult’s as well as a fetal’s (baby in its mother’s womb) heart.
4D echocardiograph is opted for fetal echo. Even though a fetal’s heart beats at a higher rate, a doctor can change and select alternate views of a 4D echocardiograph that is not possible in a 2D echo. This proves beneficial for viewing the heart of a fetus suffering from complex congenital disorders.
4D echocardiograph allows for the improvement of the image and can be accessed offline.