3-D echocardiography reduces examination times and dramatically improves,,accuracy of the most common diagnostic test for heart function

Rush is one of the leading institutions in the world using the new technology

The first fundamental breakthrough in diagnostic ultrasound for the heart in more than a decade -- real-time Volumetric three-dimensional echocardiography -- is now available to instantaneously provide ultrasound scans of the whole heart, rather than a single isolated section.

Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, is one of only nineteen institutions throughout the world using this technology, and is participating in several national studies to evaluate the use of standard echocardiography versus the new 3-D technology to measure left ventricular function both at rest and with exercise.

In the United States, over 14 million people a year undergo echocardiography. It is the most commonly performed test for heart related illnesses.

3-D echocardiography measures the size of each heart chamber, shows wall motion and scans the entire heart in the time it takes conventional echocardiography to acquire a single, two-dimensional image. While the image of the heart is displayed in two dimensions on a monitor, the computer sees and processes the image of the heart in three dimensions, allowing cardiologists to perform a complete examination of the structure and function of the entire heart from an infinite number of views.

Because the image is more anatomically correct and detailed, physicians are able to make faster, more precise measurements, enhancing the accuracy of their decisions. The additional information aids in determining the degree of heart failure or wall damage. With this information, physicians can determine if the patient's heart would benefit from cardiac bypass surgery, or is strong enough to withstand chemotherapy if the patient needs it to treat cancer. It also can provide more complete structural information to better assess whether a faulty valve could be repaired surgically or must be

Contact: Bridget McManamon
Rush University Medical Center

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