Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Intracardiac Ultrasound

Some cardiac therapies need imaging guidance. Intracardiac ultrasound can provide clear ultrasound images of the structures located inside the heart. Intracardiac ultrasound utilizes a catheter that has a miniature ultrasound transducer mounted at the tip. Insertion of the catheter usually begins in the femoral vein. The catheter is then guided through the inferior vena cava into the right atrium. Another approach is to insert the catheter in the right internal jugular vein or the left subclavian vein and then guide it through the superior vena cava into the right atrium. Once inside the heart, the heart valves and other structures within the heart can be imaged. Electrophysiology procedures and septal closure procedures sometimes utilize intracardiac ultrasound to assist in providing images before, during and post procedure.