The Development of Cardiac Ultrasound

  • Stewart Hunter


I am not sure who coined the term “echocardiography.” Echo was a Greek nymph who fell in love with a beautiful youth called Narcissus. Her love was unrequited. Narcissus, gazing into a pool in the forest, fell in love with his own reflection and had no eyes for the adoring Echo. She pined and eventually disappeared, leaving only her voice, repeating words spoken by others. This classical myth always seems to me to be appropriate for a technique that sometimes is as much art as science. Used carefully, it is a technique that appeals to clinicians because it can be repeated as frequently as necessary during the clinical course of a cardiac illness and does not necessitate moving the patient to the machine. Although modern technology has greatly enhanced the diagnostic capability of ultrasound, the physics still imposes limits, and even with today’s sophisticated techniques, echocardiography still depends more than most diagnostic methods on the operator’s skill and experience.


Congenital Heart Disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Paediatric Cardiologist Cardiac Ultrasound Strip Chart Recorder 
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© Springer-verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stewart Hunter

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