OHSU

Echocardiography

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram, or ultrasound, uses sound waves to create an image of the heart as it works. It is a simple, painless and harmless procedure done in the same way that ultrasound pictures are taken of a fetus in a pregnant woman's womb.

Why is an echocardiogram done?

With an echocardiogram, we can watch how your child’s heart functions and look for and evaluate heart abnormalities, such as a heart murmur. We can also detect potential problems before your baby is born.

Why Doernbecher?

  • We are the only pediatric accredited lab in the region, which means we are specially certified in the imaging of children with heart disease and the cardiac evaluation of a fetus before birth.
  • We perform thousands of pediatric echocardiograms every year and provide professional consultation to other echo labs throughout the Northwest. Pediatric echos are provided in all of our clinics.

Preparing your child for an echo test

An echocardiogram is a harmless and painless test just like an ultrasound for a pregnant woman. You and your child will enter a darkened exam room where your child can lie down on a regular bed to relax or, if too young, sit in your lap.

It’s important to keep your child quiet and still for the test, so we provide entertaining videos to help them feel calm. Younger children may be fed a bottle.

If your child has difficulty staying calm for the echocardiogram, a mild oral sedative may be given. Should this be necessary, your child will be scheduled with our sedation services and full instructions will be given to you at the time of scheduling.

During the procedure, warm ultrasound gel is applied to your child's chest and heart area. A small probe is placed in contact with the gel. The probe is placed in different spots near your child’s heart, so that the images can be taken from several viewpoints.

A portion of the echocardiogram is recorded on videotape for future review and comparison by the doctor.

Fetal Echocardiogram

If you are pregnant and having an echocardiogram of your baby’s heart, you will be asked to lie flat on your back. Warm ultrasound gel will be applied to your abdomen and a small probe will be placed in contact with the gel.

How long does it take?

A standard echocardiogram or a fetal echocardiogram test usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes. 

Special Pediatric Echo Procedures

An echocardiogram, or ultrasound, uses sound waves to create an image of the heart as it works. It is a simple, painless and harmless procedure done in the same way that ultrasound pictures are taken of a fetus in a pregnant woman's womb.

Fetal echocardiograms are read by our doctors who specialize in diagnosing fetal heart defects.

  • Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiograms (TEEs) are performed during almost all heart surgeries, and occasionally for other surgical specialties.
  • Transesophageal echocardiograms (TEEs) are performed during virtually all heart surgeries.  They are a specialized echocardiogram performed from the esophagus (throat) of the patient using a very small ultrasound device.
  • Intracardiac echocardiograms (ICE) are performed during a cardiac catheterization procedure.  This is usually for closure of a heart defect.

Schedule an Appointment:

503 346-0640

877 346-0640 toll free


 

For Healthcare Professionals:

Pediatric Echo and Fetal Echo

Radiology & Lab
Referral Form

All echo requests must be accompanied by a faxed order that includes the following patient information:

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Phone number
  • Reason for request
  • ICD-9 code

We will contact the family to register them and schedul an appointment at a convenient time. Echo results will be faxed to the office of the requesting physician. If there is a significant finding, a pediatric cardiologist will contact the requesting physician by phone.