A contrast echocardiogram ( or intravenous contrast-enhanced ultrasound) is a type of cardiac ultrasound scan or cardiac echo. It is a specialised ultrasound scan of the heart where you first receive an injection of a special dye to help reveal more information during the scan. Echocardiograms are used to diagnose cardiovascular diseases and are one of the most widely used diagnostic tests for heart disease.
What's involved in having a contrast echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram uses standard ultrasound techniques to produce a two-dimensional image of the heart. Before your contrast echocardiogram you will receive an injection of a special dye. The dye is injected to help provide improved images of the heart. The echocardiogram then proceeds as normal.
You will be required to sit or lie down as your consultant moves the ultrasound wand over your chest.
A contrast echocardiogram can provide a range of information including the size, function and pressures of the heart, as well as information for assessing disease of the heart valves.