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Am J Physiol. 1995 Jun;268(6 Pt 3):S2-9.

Echocardiography for teaching cardiac physiology in practical student courses.

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Institute of Medical Physiology, Vienna, Austria.


We have introduced echocardiography into the physiology courses for medical students to improve their understanding of cardiac physiology. Echocardiography allows a visualization of the events of the cardiac cycle and facilitates the correlation of anatomic structures with their physiological functions. The students record views on the human heart in the long and short axis, they follow wall and value motions, and they interpret the obtained data in correlation with electrocardiography and phonocardiography. Echocardiography offers the opportunity to measure the interval of isovolumetric contraction and isovolumetric relaxation and permits the calculation of parameters assigned to left ventricular contractility. An evaluation showed that medical students consider echocardiography to be the most significant and interesting part of the physiology courses. In conclusion, echocardiography has been shown to be a valuable tool for teaching cardiac physiology.

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