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Clinical Services at Rush Echocardiography for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease

At the Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease, our echocardiography experts offer the full range of echo procedures, including:

  • Transthoracic echocardiography: This noninvasive test is performed by placing the transducer on the chest. It is relatively easy to perform and can be used in the out-patient setting.
  • Stress echocardiography: Similar to transthoracic echo, performed during exercise to assess heart function under exertion. Patients either exercise and echocardiography is performed at various stages of exercise, or exercise is simulated using medications to stimulate the heart.
  • Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE): TEE is performed with a special probe which is inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus, placing it behind the heart to obtain clear images of the heart and any defects.
  • Intracardiac echocardiography: This is an advanced form of echocardiography where very thin probes are inserted into blood vessels and into the heart, enabling very accurate imaging of the heart procedures, such as septal defect occlusion.
  • Intravascular echocardiography: Similar to intracardiac echoes, these are performed during a catheterization procedure. Intravascular echoes look at the inside structure of large blood vessels.
  • Intra-operative echocardiography: An intra-operative echo is an echocardiogram performed during a surgical procedure. This can be a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) or an epicardial echocardiogram which means the transducer is placed directly on the heart.
  • Fetal echocardiography: Fetal echocardiography is an echo of the heart of unborn children. Special transducers are used to assess the heart of the fetus when structural heart disease or abnormal fetal heart rate is suspected. This allows pediatric cardiologists to offer management to the fetus even before it is born.

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