Developing efficiency in cardiac auscultation and an in-depth study of the palpation of the heart rhythm is a time-honored skill that needs expertise, time, and research. Presently this realm has been an area for detailed investigations and advanced innovations. Prevention of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases are of major importance in current times, hence finding new approaches in the analysis of cardiac signaling is crucial. The rise in the field of technological advancements has encouraged the emergence of new and better approaches to cardiac monitoring helping doctors to produce an accurate medical diagnosis. There is no doubt that these improvements in current heart monitoring techniques can reduce the number of heart attacks and cardiac arrests worldwide. Various techniques are used to study the shape, timing, rhythm, and duration of heart murmurs corresponding to specific heart diseases. One such test, Phonocardiogram or Phonocardiography is a non-invasive diagnostic technique for obtaining recordings of cardiovascular sound that creates a detailed graphic record of the sounds and murmurs produced by the contracting heart, including heart valves and associated great vessels.
What Is Phonocardiography?
PCG is a visual representation of heart sounds that detects heart sounds made by the various cardiac structures pulsating and moving the blood. The sound is the result of acceleration and deceleration of blood and the commotion arising during rapid blood flow. It is done with a microphone or with a tiny-sized sensor on the tip of a small tubular instrument introduced into one of the heart chambers through the blood vessels. An effective process, phonocardiography usually supplements the information obtained by listening to body sounds with a normal stethoscope and is of special diagnostic value when performed simultaneously with ECG or EKG-a simple and popular process used to check heart's rhythm and electrical activity besides the pulse rate. PCG is the short form of a Phonocardiogram. Phonocardiography implies the study of different heart sounds done with an electric instrument while phonocardiogram is the graphic record of heart sounds. Heart sound and heart murmurs are listened to when performing PCG. Heart sounds are nothing but short ephemeral characteristics which occur due to the opening and closing of heart valves. Murmurs on the other hand are long-duration noisy characteristics happening due to tumultuous blood flow in the heart.
Advantages Of Phonocardiography
Following are the benefits of a Phonocardiography:
- The test offers real-time traces of beats and movements of the heart by providing accurate details of cardiac conditions
- It is a cheaper method, is safe, and can be used for longer durations
- It can be used to monitor a large number of people safely in the comfort of one’s home
- The technique is not very complicated, and the optoelectronic elements that are used are not expensive
- Stethoscopes used in PCG are electronic that can clearly distinguish between low and high-frequency PCG signals. Besides, they help in hearing murmurs of heart and picking up subtle changes in sounds of the breadth
Disadvantages Of Phonocardiography
While the phonocardiogram technology allows medicinal practitioners to make certain diagnoses related to the heart besides assessing the severity of numerous cardiovascular lesions and preventing mild to severe cardiac anomalies, it has certain disadvantages. The biggest problem with the technique is with existing microphones that are used in phonocardiography are extremely obstructive. There is also a risk of infection to the patient undergoing further treatment or surgery. Moreover, the high computational complexity of this test makes it unsuitable for situations where time is an important factor and things need to be expedited
Phonocardiogram is a process providing a valuable diagnosis of heart-related problems that can prevent chronic and sudden cardiovascular disease. It is important in the evaluation of all valvular stenoses such as aortic stenosis, an ailment that occurs when the heart's aortic valve shrinks. It is also used for screening and diagnosis of an idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis-a disease characterized by marked enlargement of the left ventricle. It also aids in the understanding of congenital heart disease as well as in the assessment of myocardial function in cardiomyopathies and ischemic heart disease. It may also be decisive in confirming the diagnosis of pericardial constriction which is where the sac-like covering of the heart becomes thickened.