Bubble Study Echocardiogram

A bubble study echocardiogram is a painless, non-invasive ultrasound imaging test of the heart made by placing a probe on the outside of the left chest combined with injection of microbubbles into your vein.

A bubble study echocardiogram allows your doctor to diagnose any holes in your heart. Holes in the heart structures are associated with breathlessness, stroke, migraine and other cardiac symptoms.

Bubble study echocardiograms are an important diagnostic tool for your doctor to use.


An IV cannula is placed in your vein in the hand or elbow.

How is it done?

You will be asked to lie down on your left side on the examination couch in the clinic with your shirt off. A probe is placed with gel on top of it on your chest.

Multiple views of the heart are obtained according to a predetermined protocol. Normal saline (salt water) is agitated with some of your blood drawn up through the IV cannula and with less than 0.5 mls of air.

This process produces micro bubbles that can be seen in the right side of the heart with the ultrasound. If they are also seen early in the left side then you may have a hole in the heart or structural heart defect.

The digital images collected in the test are then sent to your cardiologist for interpretation, and a report is then sent to your referring doctor.

Your cardiologist will arrange a review to discuss the bubble study echocardiogram results.


30 minutes.