The Heart and Vascular Clinic Nashville, TN

What Is A Bubble Study?

A Bubble Study refers to an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) in which a saline solution is used for better images. This solution is shaken up (producing bubbles) and intravenously injected. It is then followed as it makes its way through the blood and to the heart. If the bubbles are seen on both sides of the heart, it may indicate an opening between the left and the right side of the heart, or other serious health problems.

When Might I Need A Bubble Study?

Your doctor may recommend a Bubble Study in order to confirm or deny the presence of a hole or holes in the wall separating the heart’s chambers. A Bubble Study can also be used to detect a defect or malformation of the lungs or heart.

What Should I Expect?

During a Bubble Study, you will need to remove any clothing and jewelry above the waist. Then, just as with a normal echocardiogram, you will lie down and a transducer and electrodes will be placed on your chest. Unlike a normal echocardiogram, a saline solution will be injected into your vein and images will be taken as the bubbles make their way through your blood and heart. You may be asked to adjust your body or alter your breathing during the procedure for clearer images.

Note: The Saline solution is harmless and will simply be absorbed into your bloodstream.

How Should I Prepare For The Procedure?

You will not typically need to do anything to prepare for this procedure unless you are being sedated. If you have any questions at all, please ask your doctor during your next visit.

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