The Segmental Approach to the Heart: It's Not Where You Think

Tracy Ralston, BS, BA, RCDS (AE, PE, FE), FASE, Duke Children’s Cardiology; Duke Pediatric Echo Lab. 

On Demand | Expires 10/1/2024

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*Approved by the ASRT for 1 Category A continuing education credit.


Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital disorder affecting nearly 1% of all births. The type of disease ranges broadly from mild to complex defects. The pediatric sonographer is the person who images this patient population and gathers information for the cardiologist to determine how the heart is put together. It is crucial that the information communicated to the cardiologist is concise and accurate.

For sonographers who want a deeper understanding of congenital heart disease, this presentation will explore a step-by-step system of defining and reporting cardiac structures on echo. Become familiar with the appearance of cardiac anatomy on diagrams, as well as echo images.

Learning Objectives


Understand how the cardiac structures can develop abnormally.


Define cardiac position.


Identify the structures of the heart based on intrinsic characteristics.


Understand the Segmental Set and how it is used.

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Tracy Ralston, BS, BA, RCDS (AE, PE, FE), FASE, Duke Children’s Cardiology; Duke Pediatric Echo Lab

Ms. Ralston started out performing simple a-scans for ophthalmic lengths prior to cataract surgery. Now she has been employed at Duke pediatric cardiology for over eleven years as a pediatric sonographer. In addition, she is involved in quality assurance, research for the use of therapy dogs during echocardiograms and ongoing education for sonographers, fellows and community outreach.

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