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Hospital CIMA Barcelona

Diagnostic tests

Transoesophageal Echocardiogram

The Cardiology department at the Hospital Sanitas CIMA incorporates the transoesophageal echocardiogram, a diagnostic test of great value for the determination of several heart conditions.

As with the traditional echocardiogram, the transoesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) uses sound waves to produce an image of the heart and see how it is ing. Unlike the traditional technique, however, the sound waves are sent through a tube fed through the mouth and throat into the oesophagus.

This study makes it possible to see in detail the size, shape and movement of the heart muscle and the condition of the aorta, which is the main blood vessel feeding the body. It can also how the heart valves are ing and how the blood is flowing through the heart. The TEE also provides information on the arteries. This study is often performed when it is not possible to obtain a clear image of the heart with a conventional echocardiogram.


HOW DOES IT WORK?

The TEE uses high-frequency sound waves (also known as "ultrasound waves") that make it possible to obtain an animated image of the heart. It is parallel to a conventional echocardiogram except that the images of the heart are obtained from within the oesophagus instead of through the thoracic wall. The sound waves are transmitted by the body by means of a "transducer" device which is connected to a tube and fed into the oesophagus. The sound waves bounce off the heart and return to the transducer in the form of echoes. The echoes are turned into electrical signals which produce an image of the heart and the aorta, which can be observed on a television screen.

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