A Bubble Study is the same procedure as an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of your heart), except an IV is placed in the patient's arm. During certain portions of the imaging, saline with bubbles is injected into the vein. This fluid then circulates up to the right side of your heart and shows up on the echocardiogram image.
Health info & tips
Your doctor uses the BUBBLE STUDY to
To see if there is abnormal communication between the right and left side of the heart.
Avoid oily or greasy skin creams and lotions the day of the test, as the cream can interfere with the electrode-skin contact.
Take your usual medications unless otherwise directed by your physician.
You can eat, drink and take medications as you normally would.
Wear comfortable clothing that you can remove from the waist up.
What to expect
A technologist (sonographer) will explain the test to you, take a brief medical history, and answer any questions you may have. You will be asked to sign a con-sent form.
You will be asked to remove all upper body clothing, and to put on a gown with the opening to the front, and lie down on an examination table.
The technician (sonographer) will attach stickers (called electrodes) to your chest to record your heart rhythm.
The sonographer will apply some gel to a small ultrasound probe called a transducer, they will then position it on your chest, and take several resting images of your heart. You may feel some discomfort from the transducer against your chest as the sonographer may need to apply some mild pressure to obtain the best images of your heart.
The sonographer may guide you to breathe in and out at certain times and may ask you to roll onto your left side.
For the BUBBLE STUDY, you will get an intravenous (IV) line in a vein in your arm. A saltwater solution called saline is mixed with a small amount of air to create tiny bubbles and then injected into your vein. You may be asked to cough, which briefly increases the pressure in the heart's right side.
It takes about 60 minutes to complete the test.
Your BUBBLE STUDY test will be kept on file for comparison with future tests.
After the procedure
People can resume their normal daily activities, including driving, after the test. The data will be reviewed by a cardiologist and the results will be reported to your doctor. If necessary, you may be referred for additional testing or a consultation with a physician.
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