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Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram or ultrasound of the heart uses ultrasound waves to penetrate the chest wall. The Cardiovascular Technologist or Cardiac Sonographer brings the echocardiogram machine to your child's bedside. The machine has lots of buttons and a computer screen on the top of it. Attached to the machine are long chords with some expanded heads called Ultrasonographic Probes.

Why are there different probes and what do the numbers on them mean? The Ultrasonographic Probes come in different sizes. The number on the probe to be used by the Echocardiogram machine corresponds to how far into the chest it needs to penetrate to take a picture.

The probe is placed on the child's chest by the heart and emit ultrasound waves to the heart. These waves hit the heart and bounce back to be picked up again by the probe. This is then interpreted by the computer which will diplay a picture of the heart on the screen. This technology is so precise now that it can show us the chambers of the heart, the walls separating the chambers, and measure how effective the valves between the chambers open and close.

 

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Children's Heart Institute

P. O. Box 10066 McLean, VA 22102

Central Registration (patient appointments):

phone - 703-481-5801

Billing Inquiries:

phone - 571-612-2600 /  fax - 571-266-4096