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Ultrasound scan of my heart

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Uploaded on Oct 24, 2011

I am taking part in a Physical Activity and Healthy Ageing Study at the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.. This Monday - 24/10/11 - tests were carried out on me. After Clare McNulty had done an ultrascan of my heart I was able to film the resulting picture of my heart beating. Fascinating. Wonderful.

An ultrasound heart scan (also known as a sonograph) uses very high frequency sound waves to create accurate images of the structure of the heart and the way it's working. This procedure is used on pregnant women to show them their unborn babies, and is completely safe.

This kind of heart scan directs high frequency sound waves towards the heart. These waves bounce off solid objects but pass through liquid and soft tissues. Gel is placed on the chest and a probe gently moved over the area in order to give a moving image of the heart, and the valves within them.

A sonograph provides information about:

The size of the heart chambers
The dimensions or volume of the cavity, and the thickness of the walls
How the heart muscle is working and if there is any disease
In patients with long standing hypertension or high blood pressure, an ECG heart scan can determine the thickness and "stiffness" of the ventricle walls
Any ventricle enlargement and its severity
Response to treatment over time
The pumping function of the heart

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