Echocardiography is where ultrasound is used to evaluate the dimensions of the heart, the condition of heart valves, the direction and speed of blood flow in different parts of the heart and the pumping function of the heart.
In the course of the test, all indicators are assessed from different viewpoints; an ultrasonic sensor is used for imaging. A shortened protocol is used in a partial echocardiography test, where measurements are performed with a narrower focus – for example, the pumping function of the heart is assessed after suffering an infarction, or the dimensions of the left atrium of the heart are assessed in planning for treatment of heart arrhythmia. The test, performed under the so-called shortened protocol, takes less time than the regular test, generally about 30 minutes. As a rule, the partial echocardiography is a re-test (i.e. a full scale test has been previously performed).