2 Day Short Course in Basic Echocardiography – Theory and Practical Application

Learning Objectives


  • To understand the importance of physics and instrumentation in echocardiography.
  • To understand the systematic approach for acquiring echocardiographic images using 2D, Doppler, colour Doppler and tissue Doppler during a standard examination.
  • To understand the 'minimum dataset' for a standard transthoracic echocardiogram.


  • To develop the skills for high quality standard image acquisition.
  • To apply the knowledge of basic physics and instrumentation to optimise the echocardiographic system in order to obtain high quality images.
  • To develop the skills for undertaking standardised measurements of the left ventricle, left atrium, right ventricle, right atrium and valves.

Outline Syllabus

  1. Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology (pre course reading)
    • Gross cardiac anatomy
    • The cardiac cycle
    • Heart sounds and the murmur
    • Coronary anatomy
  2. Basic Ultrasound Physics and the Equipment
    • Physics of 2D and Doppler echocardiography
    • Image optimisation and instrumentation
  3. Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology as demonstrated by Cardiac Ultrasound
    • Visualisation of normal cardiac anatomy and normal variants in standard transthoracic planes
    • The use of non-standard transthoracic views
    • The systematic approach for spectral and colour Doppler interrogation
    • 2D, M-mode and Doppler features of the normal heart
    • The minimum dataset for image acquisitions
  4. Cardiac Functional Parameters
    • On-screen measurements of length, slope, area and time intervals and their significance for 2D images, M-mode and spectral Doppler displays
    • Standard m-mode measurements and calculations with normal values
    • Derivation of stroke volume, ejection fraction and LV mass
    • Methods of measuring left ventricular and left atrial volume, including biplane area, area-length and Simpson's rule method
    • Limitations of measurement and or calculation validity in presence of poor quality and/or off-axis images
    • Methods of measuring diastolic function: E/A ratio, deceleration time, pulmonary venous flow patterns and the normal values
    • Peak and mean pressure gradient measurements by Doppler and their relationship to catheterisation data
    • Measurement of pulmonary pressures from tricuspid and pulmonary regurgitant flow velocities and assessment of inferior vena cava contraction


  • In order to establish whether all the learning objectives have been met the students will be assessed by observation of practice. A set-criteria will need to be achieved before completion of the course.

Course Structure

Time Day 1 Day 2
AM 2D and M-Mode Echocardiography – Physics and Image Acquisition Tissue Doppler
Doppler Echocardiography – Physics and Image Acquisition Quantitative Echocardiography – Key Measurements
Image Optimisation

On completion of the course you will receive a certificate of completion of the 'Focused Course in Echocardiography' from Liverpool John Moors University with detail of the practical skills attained.