Introduction to Echocardiography
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If short pulses of high frequency sound are transmitted through the heart, discontinuities in the tissues will produce reflected sound waves or “echoes”. There will be a delay between a pulse transmission and the arrival of a corresponding echo. Together with knowledge of sound velocity this will enable determination of the distance between the transmitter/receiver and the reflecting interface, thus providing information about cardiac dimensions. Similarly the Doppler effect can be used to provide further diagnostic information. These applications of ultrasound (echocardiography) for the detection of cardiac (mal)function have recently gained acceptance even though interpretation of the information obtained can be difficult.
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