Echocardiography Laboratory

Echocardiography is a noninvasive imaging tool that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to create images of the heart, the blood vessels that lead in and out of it, and the flow of blood through those vessels and the heart’s chambers. The Pediatric Echocardiography Laboratory plays an important role throughout the life of a child with heart disease, and our physicians and sonographers are essential in the diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and long-term surveillance of heart patients. They are also often among the first Heart Center clinicians to meet families, especially if a prenatal evaluation is performed. Recent advances in transducer technology and data processing allow cardiologists in the Echocardiography Laboratory to better assess congenital heart disease from fetal life to adulthood; better evaluation and diagnosis enables better treatment and better outcomes.

Two extraordinary features of the Echocardiography Laboratory are the dedicated Pediatric Echocardiography Stress Laboratory and the Pediatric Vascular Laboratory. The former tracks changes in a child’s heart when exposed to exercise stress; stress echoes provide important information for patients with coronary problems, cardiomyopathy, and pulmonary hypertension. The Pediatric Vascular Laboratory uses several non-invasive modalities that have been studied in the pediatric population to assess vascular health in children at risk.