2D Echo test is a type of Echocardiography, which also consists of other types such as Cardiac Ultrasonography and 3D Echo test. This test is used to create images of the heart, para-cardiac structures and great vessels with the help of sound waves, which will then be visualized on a monitor for easy access. It can also be carried out with a stress test in order to assess the heart function while the patient is exercising with a higher metabolic rate.
2D Echo test is a non-invasive, but precise method which accurately studies the heart and its function.
2D Echo Test Procedure
- To begin with, the patient will be instructed to lie down and remove clothes from waist to up.
- Then he will be covered up using a paper sheet or a bed sheet, exposing the anterior chest.
- Electrodes will be placed on the patient’s body.
- He might be asked to take deep breaths or change his position by lying on his side.
- A special echo-gel will be applied on the chest before the procedure begins.
During the procedure, the technician will use a probe (handheld device) known as transducer. This will be kept on the anterior chest wall, aiming at the heart; the sound waves directed towards the heart muscle will be reflected back to the probe and then get converted into light waves and create an image on the monitor. How these images would look like depends on the machines used, but most of the time they are highly clear and accurate. These images can be selectively recorded on a videotape or printed on a special paper for the purpose of proper medical documentation and can be used later if necessary.
These recorded samples will be helpful in identifying the size, shape, and movements of the heart muscle as well as other related structures such as chambers, valves, and great vessels.
Purpose of 2D Echo
A 2D Echo would show,
- Any abnormal enlargement of the heart or abnormal movements
- Dysfunctional heart valves
- Congenital heart defects
- Possible damages to the heart following heart attacks
- Any signs of inflammation of the heart (Pericarditis )
- Any fluid accumulation around heart sac
- Heart murmurs
Preparation for 2D Echo Test
This is a very safe test which should be performed under a trained sonographer in a specifically arranged environment. There is no need for any special preparations but patients with Diabetes are advised to consult the doctor prior to the procedure since there is a possible alteration of the medication dose if cardiologists suggest so.
“Echocardiogram 4chambers” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia