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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.



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.


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