Despite the increased attention to the care of the most important organ of a person – the heart, the death rate from cardiovascular diseases is growing steadily. For example, in Russia alone, almost 1.3 million people annually die from them.
One of the main reasons for such a high mortality rate, if you do not take into account the wrong way of life, is neglect of early and preventive examinations to detect heart disease.
Only in rare cases, the cardiologist has the opportunity to cope with the disease found in the later stages. In all other situations, the advanced course of the disease often leads to negative consequences that affect the quality of life of a person.
For early studies, non-invasive, uncomplicated methods are most often used, which do not have any unpleasant or painful sensations and, as a rule, pass in a short time.
Such methods include electrophysiological, X-ray examination and diagnosis using ultrasonic vibrations. The latter is the most simple and quick to conduct and has absolutely no contraindications.
Therefore, ultrasound of the heart and make women in the position and young children. But this study allows you to recognize the onset of the disease and take timely measures to facilitate a speedy recovery.
Details about ultrasound diagnosis of the heart
The study of the heart using ultrasound in modern medicine is considered to be as informative as CT scan, MRI and ECG. In the course of diagnosis, ultrasound waves generated by an ultrasound device are directed to the heart area.
Fabrics that differ in density and quality, differently accept ultrasonic vibrations and also each in their own way refract, reflect and scatter them.
“Returning”, reflected waves are recorded by a special sensor of the apparatus, and their characteristics are received for analysis. The latter is conducted on a computer in real time using a specially created program.
As a result of this analysis, the collected information is visualized, which is displayed on a monitor and is available for decoding by a doctor. Such a study is called echocardiography (echocardiography), since it is based on the principle of reflection of vibrations.
Symptoms for which it is worth making a heart ultrasound for women
Very often, the symptoms of incipient heart disease may be similar to the signs of diseases of completely different organs or body systems. That is why if the patient suffers from shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, palpitations, swelling and sweating appear – one of the first appointments will be an ultrasound of the heart muscle.
Of course, with complaints of drops in blood pressure, the first signs of varicose veins, thrombophlebitis in history, the patient will be asked to undergo this examination. Immediate causes for the cardiologist will also be heart murmurs and complaints of pain, changes in heart rhythm, as well as the recovery period after a heart attack and heart surgery.
Also, this diagnosis is assigned:
- with prolonged rise in body temperature
- periodic loss of consciousness
- malfunctions of the cardiovascular system
- cardiac or x-ray cardiac abnormalities
- pericardial diseases and various systemic pathologies
- congenital and acquired defects
- lung diseases – asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and others.
When is an ultrasound examination scheduled?
You can undergo ultrasound diagnostics at any age – it has no contraindications, except for the invasive method. The reasons for the appointment of this method, of course, vary, but for doctors it is very informative.
Ultrasound for children and adolescents
Often, parents of infants misinterpret the manifestations of abnormalities of the heart activity and such symptoms as:
- difficulty sucking breasts
- blue skin around the mouth
- cooling hands and legs
- crying when feeding.
But when visiting a clinic, a pediatrician, instead of examining and recommending a breastfeeding specialist, will designate a study of the work and structure of the baby’s heart muscle. Parents are perplexed, and the doctor needs to know the general condition of the internal organs to find the cause in order to find the true implication of these manifestations.
Also, babies are assigned an ultrasound scan to diagnose congenital heart defects and other diseases.
Children already able to speak, do not know how to describe their condition and clearly describe the nature of the pain, if the child complains about “squeezing” or “biting” in the heart area, then this indicates the presence of constricting or aching pain. In such a situation, an ultrasound scan can help determine the origin of these sensations. Frequent complaints of schoolchildren about fatigue, as a rule, turn out to be not a whim, but the first symptoms of a malfunction of the heart.
It has also become mandatory to undergo an ultrasound when adolescence occurs, since during the transition period the likelihood of development of disorders in the heart muscle increases.
Ultrasound for pregnant women
During pregnancy, the overall load on the body increases, and the heart, like the rest of the woman’s organs in a position to function, becomes much more difficult. With an increase in the volume of circulating blood, both the mother and the fetus may be in danger, so an ultrasound scan for a pregnant woman is a common procedure.
And if necessary, such a diagnosis is carried out by children still in the womb.
In European countries, there is a sad tradition – after the death of a relative from heart disease, the whole family undergoes heart diagnosis. It sounds weird to us, but in fact the logic is there.
Timely detection of the pathology of the heart muscle and the adoption of appropriate measures will allow children to enter into adulthood healthy and full of strength. If there are chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system in the family or there were acute serious illnesses in this sphere, then it is necessary to take care in advance about the health of your baby.
After all, the problem found in time is a high probability of recovery.
Ultrasound of the heart should be made pregnant:
- in the presence of genetic susceptibility to malformations
- early spontaneous abortions
- taking antiepileptic drugs or antibiotics in the 1-2 trimester
- rubella during pregnancy or if a woman has a high level of rubella antibodies.
Do not neglect this survey, as unnoticed violations at the beginning of the term may develop in parallel with the development of pregnancy and cause damage to the health of both the mother and the fetus. Moreover, the ultrasound is absolutely harmless – it can be administered to all, including pregnant and even unborn children.
The obstacles that the diagnostician may face in the study are:
- too big breasts
- serious breaches of the shape of the chest
- perennial tobacco smoking and the presence of bronchial asthma.
Types and methods of conducting studies with the use of ultrasound for women
In modern medicine, several methods are used to carry out this study, with significant differences in the method and data acquisition.
This standard technique is absolutely painless for the subject and takes no more than 20. It is performed in the supine position, the patient strips to the waist and removes all the jewelry.
Sensors that read and transmit images of the heart, blood vessels and blood circulation are attached to the chest of the patient. Gel is used to transmit signals by applying to the area of interest.
The subject during the procedure does not feel any sensations.
The following 2 methods have their own characteristics and are carried out by narrow professionals in the respective medical institutions.
Such a study is offered in individual cases – assuming the presence of a bacterial infection of the valves or a defect in the septum that separates the atria and with an established artificial valve. And also after a stroke, if a patient has been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
For the examination, lidocaine is used, which is used to process the oral cavity to eliminate the emetic urge upon the introduction of the endoscope. Then the endoscope starts up through the esophagus.
The duration of the study is approximately 20 and 6 hours before the start of the passage you must refrain from eating, and for 4 hours you should refrain from eating. For babies, this study is done between meals.
This method is not suitable for people with diseases of the esophagus.
Stress Echo KG
This study is distinguished by the acquisition of data under loads on the heart. A simple ultrasound does not allow detecting some abnormalities that easily become noticeable during stress echo-KG. Since many patients have difficulties in the activity of the heart occur only during physical exertion.
The procedure is performed using a treadmill or veloergometer with the ability to pedal in the prone position. Sensors fixing the heart activity signals are fixed on the chest.
For this procedure, the patient does not need to specially prepare.
Echo-KG with dopler
At the moment, there are several methods of echo-KG with obtaining Doppler analysis, allowing to assess in detail the functioning of the heart and great vessels:
- pulse-wave Doppler – diagnoses the pumping activity of the heart, reads the work signals (opening and closing) of valves, measures the circulatory velocity in the main vessels and valves
- continuous-wave dopplerography – used to measure elevated blood circulation rates, diagnose pressure in large vessels and heart cavities
- color Doppler – helps to assess the direction and speed of movement of blood through the great vessels.
This method is used to study the heart of the fetus in the womb. As a rule, preparation is necessary only for a short period of pregnancy.
A woman takes activated charcoal for several days before the study to reduce flatulence in the intestines, as it can distort the data. In this study, the existing anomalies of the fetal heart, the quality of functioning and other characteristics are revealed.
The emitter of the device is slowly moved along the abdominal wall, and at the same time the work of the studied organ is fixed.
What pathology does ultrasound reveal in women?
While undergoing diagnostics, all components of the heart muscle are analyzed – the atria, ventricles, chambers, valves, vessels, muscles, as well as the pericardium, which as a result helps to identify the following diseases:
- myocarditis – diagnosed with increasing chambers, reducing the volume of ejected blood from the left ventricle, reducing the contractile power of the heart, the presence of reverse movement of blood
- pericardial effusion – confirmed by the presence of fluid in the pericardial bag
- myocardial infarction – diagnosed by lack of muscle contractions of the necrotized area of the heart
- heart aneurysm – detected by thinning and changing the shape of the heart wall
- coronary heart disease
- blood clots and oncological processes.
A violation of the shape of the septum between the atria (congenital heart disease) is also diagnosed: a violation of the integrity of the septum between the ventricles and the atria, not overgrown with the arterial duct. And acquired: insufficiency of mitral valve activity, changes in the structure of valves in endocarditis, aortic stenosis.
You can see the procedure of the ultrasound scan in detail on the video, which presents various methods and techniques of the procedure. The main thing is not to miss the onset of the disease!
After analyzing the information received and identifying any irregularities in the work of the heart, the physician must notify the patient of the need for treatment. And in particularly difficult and non-standard cases, conduct additional tests using appropriate diagnostic methods.
If you find the slightest symptoms of heart disease, you should visit a medical institution and get expert advice. Then, it is very likely that the onset of symptoms of the disease can be avoided, which will relieve the patient from undergoing prolonged treatment and worsening the quality of life of the patient.