The echocardiography department consists of three rooms, all equipped with up-to-date echo machines, meeting international standards. For routine practice and advanced echo techniques, 4 devices (2 GE VIVID E95, 1 PHILIPS IE33 and 1 GE VIVID IQ) with 3D/4D probes are available. Apart from that, all examinations are stored into Workstations for further analysis (EchoPAC Workstation and Qlab). Routine practice includes basic transthoracic echo examinations and advanced ones, covering the whole spectrum of cardiac diseases. Annually, approximately 5000 transthoracic examinations, 600 stress echoes, 700 transesophageal echoes and 1000 3D echoes are performed.
Our Echocardiography laboratory holds the EACVI laboratory Accreditation from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and especially the EACVI branch (European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging) (http://www.escardio.org/Education/Career-Development/Accreditation/EACVI-Laboratory-accreditation/Accredited-Laboratories), a title that is given through evaluation of quality criteria to centers of excellence. That way, European Interbalkan Medical Center can accept training grants and provide education in echocardiology to colleagues from all over the world.
Apart from transthoracic cardiac echo exam that is considered the basis of cardiovascular imaging, advanced techniques like transesophageal echo, stress echo and 3D echo are performed in our echocardiography laboratory.
Transesophageal echo (TOE) refers to a technique performed with a probe that is advanced into the esophagus. The patient is under sedation so as not to experience discomfort during the examination. With this technique we achieve better visualization of all cardiac structures and some of the usual indications for TOE are:
1) valvular heart diseases
2) cardiac sources of emboli and thrombi
3) vegetations in cases of endocarditis and 4) aortic aneurysms and dissection.
Stress echo refers to a technique used for ischemia evaluation. With the use of contrast agent and pharmacological stress (with dobutamine) we evaluate wall motion abnormalities along with the function of the coronary arteries. The accuracy of the method for detection of significant coronary stenosis is more than 90%. That way we can discriminate the patients that need to undergo coronary angiogram.
Three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography gives:
1) accurate estimation of valvular heart diseases, providing images similar to the surgical views
2) accurate evaluation of ventricular volumes and contractility in heart failure patients and
3) guides the implantation of transcatheter devices.
The echocardiography department also covers the needs of
1) the cardiac surgery department, providing intraoperative guidance for valve implantations and
2) the needs of transcatheter department providing guidance for the implantation of transcatheter devices (ASD/PFO/LAA closure devices and transcatheter repair of mitral and tricuspid valve).
CONSULTANTS - CARDIOLOGISTS OF THE DEPARTMENT
Head of 1st laboratory: Dr. Dimitrios Ketikoglou, FESC, Cardiologist
Head of 2nd laboratory: Dr Ilias Ninios -Cardiologist, Interventional Cardiologist
Head of 3rd laboratory- Director: Dr Konstantinos Papadopoulos, FESC, FEACVI, Cardiologist