Lead placement during an echo
During echocardiography, the leads placement occurs at different positions of the body. The leads during the process are placed depending on the type of echo that is supposed to be conducted on the person. In relation to this, there are two different types of echocardiograms among the usual four that are conducted to a person. These types of echocardiograms are transthoracic echocardiogram and transesophageal echocardiogram.
On one hand, during the transthoracic echocardiogram, an echocardiographer places the leads or transducers on the back of the chest and on the wall of the chest (Leeson 56). The position of the leads ensures that the ultrasound waves produced from the device hits the hearts structures and they bounce off as sound waves thus relaying signals, which are received by the transducer (Leeson 57). A computer then converts these signals into images on a screen.
On the other hand, during the transesophageal echocardiogram, a probe with the lead or transducer is directed into ones esophagus through ones mouth to the esophagus (Leeson 344). This means that the leads are therefore close to the heart since the position of the esophagus is at the center of one’s chest and therefore right close to one’s heart. This ensures that the waves interference as they travel to the heart does not occur because of muscles and ribs that are of the wall of the chest (Leeson 345).
Reasons for monitoring
Monitoring in this situation occurs for certain reasons. First is to identify specific kinds of diseases of the heart that are related to the muscle of the heart. This is because echocardiography provides information on the structure of the heart, which is; wall thickness, sizes of the four chambers of the heart, thickness of valves, arteries, and veins. This information with the help of Doppler tests aid in the identification of abnormalities in the blood flow that may help detect heart diseases like high-blood pressure just to mention one.
Secondly, monitoring occurs to assess the heart’s pumping action. Through echocardiography, a person can tell whether the heart’s pumping power is either reduced to a severe or mild degree or it is just normal (Leeson 650). This is also termed as an ejection fraction (EF). Normal EFs range around 55-65% (Leeson 651). The ones below 45% are a representation of a reduction of the heart’s pumping strength. Moreover, if the range is between 30-35%, this represents a significant reduction (Leeson 651).
Leeson, Paul. Echocardiography. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
Wedro, Benjamin . "What are the different types of echocardiograms? - Echocardiogram Results, Test, Procedure, Types - MedicineNet." MedicineNet. N.p., 20 June 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2014. <http://www.medicinenet.com/echocardiogram/page2.htm#what_are_the_different_types_of_echocardiograms>.