Echocardiography and Cardiovascular Imaging

The NC State Veterinary Hospital Cardiology Service is a leader in echocardiography and other advanced imaging techniques for the evaluation of structural heart disease.

  • Echocardiography is an ultrasound exam of the heart and great vessels. A complete echocardiogram provides more detailed information about the anatomy and function of the heart. Other types of echocardiograms include a limited or focused cardiac ultrasound.
  • A diagnostic echocardiogram can augment the understanding of your pet’s heart disease by careful interrogation of the cardiac chamber sizes, great vessels, valvular anatomy, heart function and how the blood is flowing through the heart. This information will result in improved treatment recommendations and prognosis forecasting.
  • Ultrasound is a diagnostic modality that is highly contingent on the quality of the unit being used as well as the experience and expertise of the sonographer. The NC State Veterinary Hospital echocardiography units are not only state-of-the-art but the same units type of units used in leading human medical cardiology programs. We offer conventional 2-dimensional and doppler techniques, as well as advanced techniques such as tissue doppler, strain, 3-dimensional, transesophageal and contrast echocardiography.

Our cardiology faculty are international experts in cardiovascular disease and have extensive experience and expertise in echocardiography. Our faculty, together with our cardiology residents, perform thousands of echocardiograms every year.

In addition to echocardiography, other cardiovascular imaging techniques may provide additional information for a better understanding of your pet’s heart disease. Other imaging modalities offered include selective cardiac or peripheral angiography, CT angiography, CT imaging and MRI. CT imaging is often useful to diagnose coronary artery or vascular ring anomalies and for surgical planning for cardiac tumors, pericardial diseases and other congenital vascular abnormalities.

Photos and Video

Transesophageal echocardiography showing successful occlusion of a patent ductus arteriosus, a common congenital heart disease in dogs.

Color flow doppler echocardiography showing severe mitral valve insufficiency and left heart enlargement in a dog with degenerative mitral valve disease. Mitral valve disease is the most common heart disease in dogs.

cat cardiovascular imaging

Cross sectional echocardiographic image of a heart showing left ventricular hypertrophy and pericardial fluid in a cat with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common heart disease in cats.

canine cardiovascular imaging

Diagnostic angiogram of a patent ductus arteriosus in a young dog prior to interventional occlusion.