The University of Southampton

HLTH6185 Adult Echocardiography 1

Module Overview

This is a specialist Healthcare Science module. It will enable you to progress your healthcare science knowledge from practitioner to an advanced practitioner level, developing skills from history taking and physical examination through to selecting appropriate cardiac imaging investigations, analysing clinical findings and diagnostic decision making.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and skills of adult echocardiography to a level appropriate to an advanced practitioner.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse the role of echocardiography in patient management and the delivery of ultrasound services.
  • Produce and appraise comprehensive technical report based on an echocardiographic measurements study.
  • Demonstrate depth and systematic understanding of Imaging physics, Instrumentation and fluid dynamics relevant to echocardiography.
  • Critically evaluate different modalities (Doppler, Tissue Doppler, CFM) associated with echocardiography
  • Debate the significance of safety issues surrounding echocardiography
  • Describe in detail the anatomy & physiology of the thorax and the heart in relation to cardiac ultrasound views.
  • Provide a critically rationale for the use of additional echocardiographic techniques (contrast studies, stress echo, TOE).
  • Critically evaluate (including measurements) the pathology of acquired and congenital heart disease (adult)


This module will focus on variants from the normal (the pathophysiological) and explore concepts of diagnosis. Through a variety of learning methods it will bring students into contact with active clinicians and with researchers who are engaged in evaluating diagnostic tools. The module is based on the hypothesis that both a quantitative and a qualitative understanding of clinical reasoning and decision makes for a better diagnostician. • Anatomy & Physiology related to the acquisition of a full cardiac ultrasound study. Structure of the heart and great vessels, embryology of the heart, anatomical features demonstrated by echo planes, cardiac cycle. • Anatomy & Physiology of the cardiovascular system in acquired & congenital heart disease and relationship with the cardiac ultrasound investigation: Disease of the heart valves, cardiomyopathies, ischaemic heart disease & myocardial infarction, pericardial disease, right heart & pulmonary disease, cyanotic and non-cyanotic congenital lesions. • Physics of Ultrasound: Properties of ultrasound, interaction with matter, beam shape, Doppler effect • Ultrasonic Imaging: Piezo electric effect, transducer construction, Imaging modes (A, B, M-mode), harmonic imaging, time gain compensation, colour and power Doppler, continuous and pulsed ultrasound, contrast agents • Ultrasound Safety: Physical effect (heating, streaming, cavitation), Safety indices • Decision making theory and its application to diagnostic reasoning. • The role of clinical testing within a consultation: history, examination within the echocardiographic laboratory. • Analysing the costs and benefits of clinical testing. • The accuracy of diagnostic testing: sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, risk and probability. • Clinical testing: haematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology applied in context to cardiovascular investigations. • Evaluating diagnostic imaging modalities.

Special Features

It is intended that this module will be accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• On line materials for physiological science preparation • Lectures on key themes • Study groups • Blackboard and other on-line materials • Case based clinical scenarios using laboratory results • Clinical mentors in students’ work base • Problem solving workshops designing clinical tools • Facilitated discussion online/Professional conversations delivered in the classroom • Locating and using web based resources • Networking with other students via e-mail/discussion board • Work based activities • Literature retrieval and analysis • Guided reading

Wider reading or practice140
Completion of assessment task60
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Katz, D. (2001). Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence Based Medicine. Fundamental principles of clinical reasoning and research. 

Kumar,P. and Clark,M. (2012). Clinical Medicine. 

Campbell J (2009). Campbell’s Physiology Notes. 

Bickley, L. (2012). Bates Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 

Rimmington, H, Chambers, J. (2013). Echocardiography. A Practical Guide to Reporting. 

Dains,J., Ciofu L , Scheibel,P. (2011). Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care. 

Brauwald, E. (2014). A Textbook of Heart Disease. 

Otto, CM, (2013). Textbook of Clinical Echocardiography. 

Feigenbaum, H. (2004). Echocardiography. 

Brown, Hilary, (1997). Physiology and Pharmacology of the Heart. 

Anderson, B. (2007). Echocardiography: The normal examination and echocardiographic measurements. 

Llewelyn, H., Ang,H., Lewis,K. and Al-Abdullah,A. (2009). Oxford Handbook of Clinical Diagnosis. 



Presentation (Case study)


MethodPercentage contribution
Written essay  (3500 words) 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students have access to the library but may wish to purchase their own texts. There will be additional costs for printing journal articles should the student require a printed version.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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