Intracardiac Ultrasound (ICE)

Why is the doctor performing this test?

To view the inner lining of the heart, including the heart valves. Intracardiac ultrasound allows detailed evaluation of the inner surface of the heart and valves to determine if there is abnormal anatomy, vegetation (infection), or any abnormalities of the inner lining of the heart. Sometimes intracardiac ultrasound is used during other cardiovascular procedures (such as pulmonary vein ablation or atrial septal closures) to provide constant monitoring of the heart structures and pulmonary blood flow throughout the procedure.

What is the test?

Intracardiac ultrasound is an invasive diagnostic test using a catheter with a sound transducer (or sound probe) on the end. The catheter is threaded thru the vein in the groin and up into the heart. High-frequency sound waves are used to create precise images of the interior heart surface. The catheter with the ultrasound tip attached is carefully removed, and then pressure is applied over the groin area to stop any bleeding.

Where is the test performed?

In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

How long does this test take?

Intracardiac ultrasound usually takes thirty to sixty minutes.