Preventing sudden death in cyclists
A simple guide to echocardiography tests Echocardiography is a test that uses sound waves to produce live images of your heart and can help detect serious heart problems and prevent sudden death in athletes. An echocardiogram is a must for cyclists, especially those who undergo a high level of training, whether for professional reasons or leisure. It is a fundamental diagnostic test because it offers a moving image of the heart. Using ultrasound, echocardiography provides information about the shape, size, functionality and strength of the heart, reading movement, the thickness of the walls and the functioning of the valves. In addition, it can provide information on the pulmonary circulation and its pressures, the initial portion of the aorta and detect if there is fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion). Furthermore, the test allows specialists to determine if certain regions of the heart muscle do not receive enough oxygen-rich blood. To help combat stress you can use physical exercise (exercise echocardiogram or stress echocardiogram) or, different drugs that modify the contraction of the heart and heart rate (pharmacological stress echocardiogram). In summary, echocardiography can help detect serious heart problems and prevent sudden death.