Echocardiogram without contrast

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/8/2014 10:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Two months age I was referred to a cardiologist after having chest pains and a drastic increase in heart rate with the slightest exertion. The cardiologist had me do an ekg, echocardiogram, and stress test which all came back normal. I was ordered an echo with contrast but I suppose that was overlooked and I received the test without it. It wasn't until after the test was finished that I realized the mistake. Now I've started to notice prominent veins on each side of my neck and I was worried they were jugular veins. My question is would an echo without contrast still rule out heart failure? or should I try getting another echo, this time with contrast?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 394
   Posted 10/10/2014 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. Welcome to HealingWell.

From Wiki:

An echocardiogram is a study of the heart using ultrasound. A bubble echocardiogram is an extension of this that uses simple air bubbles as a contrast medium during this study and often has to be requested specifically. Although colour Doppler can be used to detect abnormal flows between the chambers of the heart (e.g. patent foramen ovale) it has a limited sensitivity. When specifically looking for a defect such as this small air bubbles can be used as a contrast medium and injected intravenously, where they travel to the right side of the heart. The test would be positive for an abnormal communication if the bubbles are seen passing into the left side of the heart. (Normally they would exit the heart through the pulmonary artery and be stopped by the lungs.) This form of bubble contrast medium is generated on an ad hoc basis by the testing clinician by agitating normal saline (e.g. by rapidly and repeatedly transferring the saline between two connected syringes) immediately prior to injection.

I'm not sure a Echocardiogram with contrast is any more than described above. I've had this one done. If you were in heart failure, a common symptom would be fluid accumulation in your lower legs, ankles, and feet. Have you noticed this? You're looking pretty healthy by the tests you've already had done, if your cardiologist felt the contrast was imperative, he/she would likely reschedule the test. Did they tell you what the chest pain may have been caused by?
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