Echocardiography Indications

Echocardiography is a first-line imaging test for assessment of cardiac size and function as well as valvular function and pericardial diseases. This procedure is used for:

  1. Evaluation of ventricular and valvular function
  2. Evaluation of pericardial disease(s)
  3. Assessment of congenital heart disease
  4. Diagnosis of infective endocarditis
  5. Diagnosis of disease of the ascending aorta

Shortness of Breath, dyspnea on exertion
Resting or stress echo should be considered for evaluation of left ventricular function, pulmonary pressures, and valvular abnormalities.

Hypertension
The presence of left ventricular hypertrophy requires a blood pressure target of 130/85 per JNC VI guidelines. Borderline hypertension usually requires definitive treatment in the presence of left ventricular hypertrophy.

Congestive Heart failure

  • Up to 50% of CHF in the elderly may be due to diastolic dysfunction.
  • Evaluation of ejection fraction is mandatory for proper treatment.
  • Follow-up echocardiography to monitor response to therapy may be appropriate.

Degenerative Mitral-Valve Disease
Evaluation for degenerative mitral-valve disease for patients that are getting older. Degenerative valve disease, also called endocardiosis, valvular regurgitation, valvular insufficiency or chronic valve disease, refers to a noninfectious degeneration of the cardiac valves.

Heart murmur
For evaluation of all new or changing murmurs.

Edema
May be the only indication of CHF.

Syncope
A clinical symptom triad of aortic stenosis along with congestive angina and CHF.

Chest Pain
Echocardiography is the primary diagnostic tool for this symptom.

Other Indications

  • Abnormal EKG
  • Valvular regurgitation
  • Valvular stenosis
  • Arrhythmias
  • Post open heart surgery
  • Myocardial Infarction

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