It is a non-invasive diagnostic method, which is performed using equipment called an echocardiograph, which works based on the physical principles of ultrasound (very high frequency sounds not perceived by the human ear). The equipment emits ultrasonic sound waves that, when entering the chest, collide and are reflected from the different cardiac structures, allowing immediate observation of the animated image of the heart, to determine the size, shape, and functioning of the different cardiac structures and the large arterial vessels. of the child in any of its stages.
In most cases, it is requested to rule out a heart problem of congenital origin, which can manifest in children with chest pain, shortness of breath, easy fatigue, when they have presented loss of consciousness or change in skin coloration It can also be indicated in those children in whom it is intended to know the functioning of the heart before or after receiving certain types of medication.
The procedure is too simple and does not induce any type of pain. It consists of laying the child on a stretcher, applying a conductive gel in the area of the ribs, near the sternum, around the heart and with a hand-held device called a transducer, capturing images that allow evaluating the condition of his heart.
This procedure can take around 30 minutes.
Serious congenital heart defects usually become apparent shortly after birth or during the first few months of life. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Pale gray or blue color to the skin (cyanosis).
- Fast breathing.
- Swelling in the legs, abdomen, and the area around the eyes.
- Shortness of breath during feeding, leading to poor weight gain.
Less serious congenital heart defects may not be diagnosed until later in childhood, since the child may not have noticeable signs of a problem.
If signs and symptoms occur in older children, they may include:
- Being short of breath easily during exercise or activity.
- Tendency to tire when doing exercise or activity.
- Fainting with exercise or activity.
- Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet.
Types of heart defects
- Holes in the heart.
- Blood flow obstructions.
- abnormal blood vessels
- Heart valve abnormalities.
- A heart that was not fully developed.
- A combination of flaws.