• To evaluate patients with connective tissue diseases,
such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which are associated
with valve prolapse, aortic root dilation, and dissection.
• To assess ventricular function in patients with certain neuromuscular
disorders, such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, that
can affect the heart muscle.
• To assess left ventricular hypertrophy and dysfunction in children
with chronic renal disease and long-standing systemic hypertension.
• To obtain baseline and serial echocardiograms to assess for cardiomyopathy
in patients receiving chemotherapeutic agents, which can be cardiotoxic.
• Useful in additional disease processes including HIV, serial assessment
for rejection in cardiac transplant patients, and screening of patients
with a family history of cardiomyopathy.
• Newly diagnosed thromboembolic disease.
• Searches for sources of thrombus and potential intracardiac
• Routine transthoracic echocardiogram is often inconclusive and
therefore, a contrast study may be necessary.
• If either study is inconclusive, a transesophageal echocardiogram
may be necessary.