During an echocardiogram, an ultrasound probe is passed across the left side of the chest to collect moving images of your heart. Pulses of painless ultrasound energy (‘doppler’) are also passed through different structures within the heart from various angles, which enables us to assess blood flow, pumping function, pressure changes and much more. The UK’s regulatory body for cardiac ultrasound – The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) – has established a comprehensive guideline on the images and measurements required to complete a full cardiac assessment, and we adhere to these recommendations very strictly.
After about 15 minutes, our sonographer will have collected all the necessary images and measurements. By this stage, we will already have a very good understanding of your heart’s structure and function, and so we will be able to issue you with preliminary written results. However, in the hours following your scan, the images and doppler measurements are analysed in more detail using sophisticated software, which allows us to make precise calculations regarding your heart’s performance, and quantify the true severity of any abnormalities.
This information will generate your full technical report, and will be sent to you and your GP within 24 hours.
Your preliminary written report includes a diagram of the heart annotated with the ultrasound findings. We will explain any abnormalities in plain English, including the need for any future follow-up or investigations.
Please note, this preliminary report will be superseded by your full results, which will be emailed to you within 24 hours. It is possible, following detailed analysis, that your results may have changed slightly – for example, the severity of a valve leak may be upgraded or downgraded. If these changes are likely to impact your ongoing care, our Medical Director will be in touch with you directly to discuss the next steps.