January 27, 2022

Echocardiography – A Valuable Diagnostic Tool

Written by: Lori Green BA, RDMS, RDCS, RVT

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Echocardiography has proven to play a critical role in the diagnosis and clinical management of a wide variety of cardiovascular diseases, such as LV function, valvular heart disease, pericardial disease, right heart disease, and cardiac masses. Technological advancements combined with reduced size of the ultrasound systems has allowed medical professionals in various specialty practices to integrate echocardiography as an integral part of their clinical decision making.

Echocardiography may include a comprehensive exam (most often performed in a dedicated Echo lab or private cardiology practice) that consists of 2D, M-Mode, and Doppler/color evaluation. Echocardiography incorporates both qualitative and quantitative assessments using a variety of diagnostic techniques/parameters to help determine the most appropriate patient management. The use of contrast agents and advanced technology such as Strain and 3-D imaging may also contribute to the quality and accuracy of the examination findings.

Focused or Goal-Directed Echocardiography is performed at the bedside, most often in an emergency or critical care setting. Focused Echocardiography helps to assess the patient with hemodynamic failure in an effort to rapidly establish a diagnosis and to guide management of a shock state.

The key clinical applications for performing focused echocardiography include:

  • Identification of a life-threatening disease process
  • Categorizing a shock state to determine an initial management strategy
  • Evaluate disease and response to therapy
  • Identify co-existing disease that may complicate the management of the primary process

    • Regardless of the setting, performing a high-quality examination requires training to become proficient with acquiring the views and associated quantitative data for accurate diagnosis. Training should include lectures and case studies combined with substantial hands-on scanning sessions conducted in a small group setting using live patient models.

      Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute, Inc. (GCUS) is the leading education provider for Adult Echocardiography and offers a variety of educational formats to meet any learning preference for both comprehensive and Focused/Goal-directed examinations.

      GCUS Offers:

      1. Regularly scheduled, live, in-person, traditional education programs: lectures, case presentations and hands-on scanning with the lowest participant to instructor ratio ( =3:1).

      2. Regularly scheduled Blended-Education Programs: Complete the comprehensive online course (same lectures presented in the traditional format) professionally edited, and incorporated into a learning management system (LMS) in a modular, interactive format.

      3. Customized onsite training at your facility or the GCUS education facility (best for groups of 5 or more) – can be traditional or blended-education format.

      4. Private one-on-one hands-on training – utilized a blended education format.

      5. 100% virtual real-time, interactive training – blended education format that includes the GCUS exclusive Remote Coach Virtual Training System™. Training held at your facility using your own ultrasound system and taught by one of the GCUS expert instructors (best for 1-3 participants).

      6. Expand your skills and enhance diagnostic services by attending a GCUS Adult Echocardiography program.


   June 14, 2023 – Adult Echocardiography Registry Review Virtual Conference

   April 17,-21 2023: Traditional education format: lectures, case studies, and generous hands-on scanning

   December 4-8, 2023: Traditional education format: lectures, case studies, and generous hands-on scanning


About the Author

Lori Green BA, RDMS, RDCS, RVT

Lori is the President and Program Director of Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute, Inc.

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