What is it? Sound waves at an ultrasonic frequency are used to create images of the heart. It is one of the most common diagnostic and widely used tests in cardiology. It can provide a wealth of information about the heart's size, shape, valves and ejection fraction, which is the volume of blood that leaves the heart with each beat. Echo can also be used to assess for emboli (blood clots), regurgitation (leaky valves) and wall motion abnormalities.
Why would you need it? Common diagnoses that we see for adult echoes at NARMC are hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiac murmur (unexpected sounds during the heartbeat cycle while a physician or nurse is listening to the patient's heart), CVA (stroke), an arrhythmia (such as Atrial Fibrillation), and congestive heart failure.
NARMC does not have a cardiologist on staff currently, but we do have a partnership with three cardiologists who are able to efficiently and promptly review and dictate adult echocardiograms. Dr. Otis Warr and Dr. Michael Camp with Cardiovascular
Associates in Mountain Home, AR, and Dr. Paul Bhella with Remote Cardiology Services from Dallas, Texas all three partner with NARMC to offer Echocardiogram readings. Eddie Hawkins, Cardiac Sonographer, is the lead tech who works with Echo patients.
Pediatric Echo Services
Beginning in 2017 after training with the Echo-cardiographers at Arkansas Children's Hospital, NARMC began offering pediatric echocardiograms. Echos from all patients under the age of 18 are sent to ACH in Little Rock to be reviewed and dictated by the cardiologists there. The same cardiologists will be reviewing and dictating their child's study as if they had taken them directly to ACH in Little Rock. Pediatric echoes pose a different set of challenges versus adult echoes. Common diagnoses for pediatric echoes are cardiac murmur, chest pain, congenital heart disease and others.