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Echocardiography Lab at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas Achieves Prestigious Reaccreditation
Date:6/4/2008

DALLAS, June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The echocardiography lab at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas has earned reaccreditation by the Inter-societal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL), making it one of only two hospitals in the region accredited by the ICAEL.

"The importance of quality echocardiograms is paramount," said Dr. Jorge Cheirif, Presbyterian's chief of cardiology and medical director of non-invasive. "Echocardiograms are non-invasive procedures that give us critical diagnostic information about how patients' hearts are functioning. I'm proud that we've proven to be a top provider of this important diagnostic tool."

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves to diagnose and evaluate various heart conditions, including the origin of murmurs and the severity of congenital defects, coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease. The device picks up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the heart and converts them to black-and-white and color moving pictures, which help measure the direction and speed of blood flowing through the heart and its blood vessels.

"This accreditation reflects the commitment by our employees and physicians on the medical staff to the highest standards of care," said Zoe Terral, RN, Presbyterian's director of non-invasive cardiology. "I'm proud of the fine work they do every day to improve the lives of the people who come to us for care."

The echocardiography lab, or echo lab, offers various types of echocardiograms. Trans thoracic echocardiograms, which are the most common type, generate images of the heart by moving the transducer to different locations on the chest or abdominal wall. Stress echocardiograms are done both before and after the patient's heart is stressed by exercise or with medicines. A stress echocardiogram is usually done to find out if a patient has decreased blood flow to the muscle of the heart (which is a common sign of coronary artery disease), as well as to evaluate the impact of certain valvular heart diseases. Doppler echocardiograms look at how blood flows through the heart chambers, heart valves and blood vessels. Trans-esophageal (TEE) echocardiograms provide images of the heart from within the stomach and esophagus with high frequency ultrasound waves, allowing specialists to detect blood clots or abnormal communication in certain areas of the heart (which could lead to a stroke), as well as plaque or cholesterol in the aorta.

"The reaccreditation of the lab is just another example of the commitment by physicians on the hospital's medical staff, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and Texas Health Resources to provide comprehensive, quality heart and vascular care to patients," said Jon Gardner, director of Presbyterian's heart and vascular service.

Every aspect of the lab's daily operation was analyzed as part of the ICAEL's review. The ICAEL is a nonprofit organization established with the support of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.


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SOURCE Texas Health Resources
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