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Seeing the Heart: Echocardiography and Other Imaging Technologies 

Seeing the Heart: Echocardiography and Other Imaging Technologies
Seeing the Heart: Echocardiography and Other Imaging Technologies

W. Bruce Fye

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date: 13 April 2021

During the 1960s and 1970s, new diagnostic technologies were developed that provided unique visual information about the heart’s structure and function. Echocardiography uses ultrasound to create moving images of the heart’s walls and valves. During the 1980s, advances in computer technology contributed to the development of new ultrasound techniques (such as two-dimensional echocardiography) that provided better visualization of the heart. Doppler echocardiography yielded physiological information that had been available previously only by performing cardiac catheterization. Mayo helped pioneer several echocardiography innovations, which it popularized in many publications and lectures. Another so-called noninvasive approach to imaging the heart involved the use of radioisotopes. Nuclear cardiology proved to be especially useful in evaluating patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. The application of CT and MRI imaging to the heart lagged because it was difficult to apply these technologies to a moving organ.

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