Title Echocardiography: common pitfalls and practical solutions
Author(s) Etienne Cote
Journal Clinical Techniques in Small Animal Practice
Date 2005
Volume 20
Issue 3
Start page 156
End page 163
Abstract The asymmetric shape of the heart, small acoustic window, and range of interindividual variation in normal and abnormal states all can limit the extent of echocardiographic studies in small animal medicine. Beyond these uncontrollable variables, however, there are a number of additional potentially complicating factors that the echocardiogapher controls. Understanding and handling this second category of variables is critical for optimizing the quality and diagnostic value of echocardiographic studies. These variables range from such simple issues as proper restraint and an indissociable association between echocardiographic findings and clinical information, to specific points relating to simultaneous electrocardiogram display, good visualization of cardiac structures using multiple overlapping imaging planes, and avoidance of oblique or tangential views. The basic overview presented here aims to describe these commonly encountered, clinically relevant points in a way that helps veterinarians improve the quality of echocardiograms they perform.

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