[Echos]

Author: Bryan Lombardo (---.bos.east.verizon.net)

Date: 10-10-02 21:24

On echos Im often told they could not get a good picture or window. All though they can get the measurement of my septum. What is meant by this what else is it they are looking for?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Re: Echos]

Author: Erica (---.atlnga1.dsl-verizon.net)

Date: 10-10-02 21:47

According to the American Heart Association:

What is an echocardiogram (or echocardiography)? This is a technique that sends sound waves into the chest to rebound from the heart's walls and valves. The recorded waves show the shape, texture and movement of the valves on an echocardiogram. They also show the size of the heart chambers and how well they're working.

Echocardiography is extremely useful in the assessment of cardiac murmurs, stenosis and regurgitation of all four cardiac valves, prosthetic valve function, and patients with infective endocarditis. Echocardiography provides valuable information regarding diagnosis, valvular morphology, etiology of valve disease, identification and quantification of lesions, detection and evaluation of associated abnormalities, delineation of cardiac size and function, and assessment of the adequacy of ventricular compensation. Echocardiography readily detects structural abnormalities such as fibrosis, calcification, thrombus, or vegetation, and abnormalities of valvular motion such as immobility, flail or prolapsing leaflets, or prosthetic valve dehiscence. A full echocardiographic evaluation should provide prognostic as well as diagnostic information, allow for risk stratification, establish baseline data for subsequent examinations, and help guide and evaluate the therapeutic approach. Echocardiography often provides a definitive diagnosis and may obviate the need for catheterization in selected patients.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Re: Echos]

Author: Erica (---.atlnga1.dsl-verizon.net)

Date: 10-10-02 21:56

Sorry ... forgot about the septum. They check your septum size to see if you have HOCM ... Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy with obstruction or HCM (without obstruction.) The septum is the wall that separates the heart's left and right sides.

According to the American Heart Association:

HCM: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy- the muscle mass of the left ventricle enlarges or "hypertrophies." In one form of the disease, the wall (septum) between the two ventricles (pumping chamber) becomes enlarged and obstructs the blood flow from the left ventricle. The syndrome is known as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (H.O.C.M.) or asymmetric septal hypertrophy (A.S.H.). It's also called idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (sub"a-OR'tik sten-O'sis) (I.H.S.S.).

Besides obstructing blood flow, the thickened wall sometimes distorts one leaflet of the mitral (MI'tral) valve, causing it to leak. In over half the cases, the disease is hereditary. Close blood relatives (parents, children or siblings) of such persons often have enlarged septums, although they may have no symptoms. This disease is most common in young adults.

In the other form of the disease, non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the enlarged muscle doesn't obstruct blood flow.

The symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath on exertion, dizziness, fainting and angina pectoris (AN'jih-nah or an-JI'nah PEK'tor-is). (Angina is chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle.) Some people have cardiac arrhythmias (ah-RITH'me-ahz). These are abnormal heart rhythms that in some cases can lead to sudden death. The obstruction to blood flow from the left ventricle increases the ventricle's work, and a heart murmur may be heard.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Re: Echos]

Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

Date: 10-11-02 02:58

Dear Bryan,

A "window" is a clear view of your heart. Due to your weight or physiology, it may be difficult for the echo tech to get the angles they want. When they do an echo, they are measuring all of your walls and chambers to see which are in the normal range and which are not, along with tracking the blood flow for obstruction.

The AHA info is not quite up to date on the hereditary nature of HCM. HCM is genetic. There are other causes of hypertrophy, but they are not HCM.

How are you doing?

Sarah

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Re: Echos]

Author: Bryan Lombardo (---.bos.east.verizon.net)

Date: 10-11-02 13:42

Thanks for the reply ladies.

Sarah, Im doing ok, thanks for asking. I go back to see Dr.M Maron in 2 1/2 weeks for more testing. The shortness of breath has decreased some during the day but seems to worsen at night. Something ill have to talk to the Drs about. How are you doing?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Re: Echos]

Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

Date: 10-11-02 14:47

Dear Bryan,

I had an echo on Tuesday and my septum is 16mm and my left atrium is 43mm, still no obstruction (hooray!) so I'm going to start taking amiodarone next week to try and get back to sinus rhythm. Please keep your fingers crossed. If the amio doesn't do it, I am out of options and will live in afib.

Try sleeping on an extra pillow, see if you can breathe a little better propped up.

Tell Marty I said "HI".

take care,

S

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Re: Echos]

Author: Pat (---.d00832.dlup.digitaldune.net)

Date: 10-11-02 16:13

Dear Sarah,

I don't know how to say it (I'm not much good at wording heartfelt messages), but I'll sure be rooting for the amidarone & your atrial rhythm! Think steady . . . slow . . . regular . . . .

Please keep us posted,

Pat

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Re: Echos]

Author: Erica (---.biz.dsl.gtei.net)

Date: 10-11-02 16:18

Sarah ... crossing my fingers for you big time! You are in my prayers for happiness, balance, joy and good health, and of course wealth (both personal and for the HCMA!$!) Have a wonderful weekend!

~Erica