A Gandhi, M Gandhi, S Kalra
echocardiography, ejection fraction, family physician, hypertrophy
A Gandhi, M Gandhi, S Kalra. Echocardiograpy reports - what a family physician should know? . The Internet Journal of Family Practice. 2009 Volume 8 Number 2.
Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is a reliable and versatile tool for the assessment of cardiac structure, function and path physiology. It is very cost effective compared with competing technologies and has many new possibilities as to how this examination can be improved and provide more and better information.1
Referring physicians sometimes find reported results difficult to apply clinically. Terminology can be arcane. The format of reports differs from one laboratory to another. Content can vary: because echocardiography is evolving, some institutions use methods not available at all centers.2 This overview will help referring physicians structure their approach to extracting clinically useful information from TTE reports.
Content Of Tte Reports
An increasing number of laboratories quantify valvular regurgitation using the effective regurgitant orifice and the regurgitant volume of blood.16 Some reports refer to this as the “PISA” method (proximal isovelocity surface area).17
Intrahepatic lesions are sometimes identified and extrinsic masses compressing the heart are sometimes revealed
One imaging test cannot substitute for history taking and physical examination. In conjunction with clinical knowledge about the patient and a basic understanding of cardiac physiology, however, TTE is essential for cardiovascular evaluation and follow up. This brief review has outlined
a structured approach to reading TTE reports and has addressed many issues encountered by referring physicians who receive these documents. Echocardiography is, however, evolving rapidly. Future development of innovative techniques and consequent changes and improvements in the reports that referring physicians receive from TTE procedures are sure to come.