Echocardiography and duplex ultrasonography are procedures which use ultrasound to obtain important information about the internal organs of the body. The helpful views they provide of the heart (echocardiography) and the blood vessels (duplex ultrasonography) help us to reach a diagnosis, but also help us decide how best to proceed with treatment. Yet the methods used should be as little a matter of concern to you as they are useful to our specialists, providing many valuable benefits and improving the chances of us achieving a successful outcome to your treatment.
Echocardiography: TEE and TTE
In echocardiography in particular, which is also called heart ultrasound, a distinction is drawn between two procedures, depending on the form the treatment takes. These procedures are used in different fields and supply different types of result. We will introduce you to them here, and tell you how your treatment can benefit from them.
Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
Transesophageal echocardiography generates images of your heart from your esophagus or stomach. Cardiac structures which cannot be seen from outside the body can be evaluated and examined more effectively using this method. The procedure is often used for such conditions as heart valve defects, diseases of the heart muscle or heart failure. The use of TEE enables our specialists to view the left atrial auricle, monitor the heart valves, identify the accumulation of fluid, exclude the possibility of blood clots, and investigate suspected endocarditis.
Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE)
Echocardiography through the chest, i.e. from outside the body, is a different and rather more simple procedure, which is also more frequently used. With transthoracic echocardiography, the heart is viewed from a number of angles. Not only is this a more simple procedure than TEE; it is also less time-consuming. But it is best suited for examining the heart cavities and for assessing cardiac and valve function. It is used, for instance, to detect blood clots inside the heart.
Duplex ultrasonography is used to investigate vascular ailments. It is a risk-free and pain-free form of treatment which is regularly performed by our experts at the Heart Center Leipzig as a matter of everyday routine. Duplex ultrasonography also uses ultrasound waves. It is extremely well suited to examining the blood vessels, and is used, for instance, for patients with arteriosclerosis, which is in turn one of the main causes of a heart attack or stroke.
Heart ultrasound (echocardiography) is a key instrument used in diagnosis and monitoring during heart surgery. The specialists from our anesthesiology department have a very high level of expertise, and conduct about 4,400 examinations of this type every year.