The Echocardiography Program, part of the interdisciplinary Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, features the Midwest’s largest pediatric echocardiography staff and is a national leader in supplying echocardiography physicians for academic positions across the country.
We perform more than 13,000 studies each year in the Echocardiography Lab and are staffed by 11 attending cardiologists and 10 sonographers.
Our lab is equipped with state-of-the-art ultrasound imaging utilizing all available modalities, including transthoracic, transesophageal, fetal, dobutamine and exercise stress studies, and vascular ultrasound.
Echocardiography Facilitates Comprehensive Diagnoses
Echocardiograms help to determine the structure of the components of the heart. An echocardiogram measures the size and thickness of the heart chambers, how the heart is handling the pumping of the blood through the chambers and the blood flow through the heart valves.
Comprehensive Diagnosis for Heart Institute Patients
- A transthoracic echocardiogram provides a complete diagnosis and is harmless and painless. At Cincinnati Children’s, it is performed in a four-exam-room suite with television and video materials in each room for the patients’ relaxation and peace of mind.
- A transesophageal echocardiogram is performed in the operating room to immediately evaluate the results of heart surgery.
- A comprehensive fetal echocardiogram provides detailed information on a baby’s heart before birth.
- A stress echocardiogram involves performing echocardiography during stress – usually exercise – providing an assessment of the function of the heart and its valves during the more typically active state of children.
Groundbreaking Treatments for Pediatric Heart Conditions
The Heart Institute is a national pioneer in echocardiography and is the first pediatric Echo Lab to have a dedicated research echo lab providing both cardiac and vascular imaging for research.
Moreover, we have innovated a number of firsts in pediatric heart imaging that are now the standard of care, including:
- We were the first in the country to use transesophageal echocardiography in children, now a standard monitoring method for children undergoing heart surgery.
- We were the first to use stress echocardiography in children, now a standard of care.
- We were one of the first medical centers to use MRI to look at biomarkers for progression of heart disease in children.
In addition, the Heart Institute is unique nationally for its extensive echo quality assurance program – introduced nearly two decades ago to measure the accuracy of echocardiograms following catheterization and surgery – as well as for its dedicated nurses who care for infants and toddlers needing sedation so they remain still during examinations. Most recently, the Heart Institute launched one of the first transtelephonic echo interpretation programs in the country, enabling doctors at Cincinnati Children’s to provide real-time diagnosis of children at remote hospitals by reading echocardiograms over the internet.