Did you know?


Heart cancer develops so rarely even the Mayo Clinic sees only about one case per year. That’s because heart cells stop dividing early, so cancer-causing mutations are less likely to occur.

Still, that’s not to say that cancer elsewhere in your body can’t harm your heart. Other cancers can metastasize, or spread, to your heart. Plus, chemotherapy and other treatments for malignancies can damage its tissue.


An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test that uses sound waves to produce live images of your heart. The test allows your doctor to monitor how your heart and its valves are functioning. Specially trained technicians in echocardiography produce the images and videos, often using a special probe or transducer that is placed in various places on the chest wall, to view the heart from different directions. The key feature of echocardiogram is to determine the heart muscle’s health, especially after a heart attack and can also reveal heart defects in unborn babies.

Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)

Views of the heart are obtained by moving the transducer to different locations on your chest or abdominal wall.

Doppler Echocardiogram

The test is used to look at how blood flows through the heart chambers, heart valves, and blood vessels. The ultrasound computer then measures the direction and speed of the blood flowing through your heart and blood vessels.

Stress Echocardiogram

It is usually done to find out if you might have decreased blood flow to your heart by conducting echocardiogram before and after your heart stressed either by performing exercise or injecting medicine that makes the heart beat harder and faster.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)

Instead of being moved over outside of the chest wall, the probe is passed down the esophagus. Pictures of the heart are clearer due to the probe being near to the heart and the lungs and chest bones didn’t block the sound waves produced by the probe. The test involves applying a sedative and an anesthetic to the throat to make the patient comfortable during the test.



Depending on the test being conducted, the patient may not need any special preparations. For stress echocardiogram, the patient should not eat heavy few hours to prevent nausea. TEE requires the patient not to eat or drink for at least 6 hours before the test.


During Test

The test may be done in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. The patient needs to remove any jewelry and clothes above the waist. A TTE, Doppler echocardiogram, and stress echocardiogram are performed by a specially trained ultrasound technician while TEE is performed by the cardiologist with the help of assistants.



The device picks up sound waves echoes as they bounce off on different parts of the heart. Echoes are turned into moving pictures of the heart that can be seen on a video screen. Results are usually available within one day. Results from the test conducted by a cardiologist may be available immediately after.

Risk Factors

Echocardiograms are considered very safe. Unlike other imaging techniques, such as X-rays, echocardiograms don’t use radiation. The test uses high-frequency sound waves to evaluate the heart. Any allergic reaction caused by using contrast material can be controlled using medicine.

A transthoracic echocardiogram carries no risk. There’s a chance for slight discomfort when the electrodes are removed from your skin. This may feel similar to pulling off a Band-Aid.

There’s a rare chance the tube used in a transesophageal echocardiogram may scrape the side of your esophagus and cause irritation. The most common side effect is a sore throat.


When stress echocardiogram is performed, it could cause irregular heartbeat upon the usage of medication or exercise to increase the heart rate. The risk of a serious reaction is reduced because the procedure is supervised.

Understanding your heart

Six Important Things About Your Heart

Adult heart beats about 10,000 times each day 01.

Do the math, and that’s at least about one beat per second, or 60 to 100 times per minute, according to American Heart Association.

Age and fitness level affect your heart rate 02.

Generally, as children grow or adults get fitter, the heart rates gets slower.

Heart disease isn’t only the number one killer of men, it’s also the top killer for women 03.

Your heart doesn’t care if you’re from Mars or Venus.

Dr Janssens Consulting Services

04. Want to know how big your heart is? Make a fist.

Heart size depends on the size of the person as well as the condition of their heart. Generally speaking, a healthy heart is about the size of the person’s fist.

05. Your heart rate drops while you sleep.

At night, it’s common for heart rates to drop below 60bpm.

06. Heart attack symptoms are different for men and women.

Although heart disease is an equal opportunity killer, symptoms of heart attack show up differently in men versus women.

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