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A diagnostic technique for the heart that uses a transducer held against the chest to send high-frequency sound waves which pass harmlessly into the heart; as they strike structures within the heart, they are reflected back to the transducer and recorded on an oscilloscope.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a method of examining the heart by means of ultrasound. Echocardiography is based on the recording of ultrasonic waves reflected from the surfaces of heart structures differing in density. Under normal conditions, curves are recorded successively from the walls of the aorta and left atrium, the anterior and posterior cusps of the mitral valve, the interventricular septum, and the posterior wall of the left ventricle.

Echocardiography is used to diagnose acquired and, to a lesser extent, congenital valvular diseases. It helps determine the condition of the cusps and the extent of narrowing of the valve openings; it identifies defects in the septa, large transposed blood vessels, and hypoplasia. Echocardiology is also used to diagnose pericarditis with effusion, tumors, and other abnormal conditions. The procedure is used to measure the volume, wall thickness, and mass of the muscular layer of the left ventricle; the stroke volume; and some other parameters of the blood circulation. By combining echocardiography and ultrasonic scanning one can obtain successive images of heart structures that reflect their dynamics during systole and diastole.


Kardiologiia, 1974, no. 1, pp. 82–86; 1976, no. 6, pp. 15–25.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Relevant echocardiographic findings were observed only in three types of indications for inappropriate echocardiogram request.
Video 7: an echocardiogram in parasternal short-axis view showing a myxoma occupying the left ventricular outflow tract.
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Caption: FIGURE 2: Transthoracic echocardiogram, apical four-chamber view.
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Some doctors point out glumly that providers and hospitals can charge separately for echocardiograms. A chest exam with a stethoscope nets nothing extra.
In the twelve-month period prior to the implementation of EHR 10,399 patients underwent a transthoracic echocardiogram. Within six months of the index exam, 4.6% of patients underwent a full repeat study, and within twelve months 7.6% of patients underwent duplicate testing.
A bedside transthoracic echocardiogram revealed the presence of a VSD with left-to-right shunting of blood, but the patient remained hemodynamically stable.
Figure 3: Transthoracic echocardiogram of patient of Lutembacher's syndrome showing thickened mitral leaflets.
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The researchers also found that, in addition to meeting the criteria, most of the these patients (89%) had a documented history of heart failure, were on diuretics (75%), indicating heart failure symptoms, or had heart failure (8%) as the indication for their echocardiogram.
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