Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
understanding what is what
gailci posted:
Plesae explain to me what a normal Echocardiogram compared to an Echocardiogram with a person who has a PFO?

Artifact(?) and a tear on the aorta are they the same?

What does a angio ct scan do that a mri cant do?
Thank you once again.
cardiostarusa1 responded:

The echocardiogram of a person with a PFO would show a distinct finding of a shunt, that is, a hole or passage way, thus allowing the movement of blood flow (in the upper or lower chambers) from the right side to the left side of the heart, or from the left side to the right side of the heart.

How is PFO Diagnosed?

An actual/true artifact is a false image (it's not what it appears to be). Just one example, as seen in a nuclear stress test, due to body habitus/anatomy or dense breast tissue.

A tear is just that, also known as a rip, which may/can lead to a dissection.

Good general info on CT Angiography and Cardiac MRI -

Radiology Info org



Take extra-extra good care,




It's your there.
James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
A patent foramen ovale, or PFO is a small hole in the membrane that exists between the two top chambers of the heart. About 15-20% of people have one.

An artifact is essentially an "error" in a test (typically an imaging test like an xray) that may mislead someone into thinking that there is a true abnormality when one is not actually present.

A CT scan is practically much simpler to perform than an MRI. Some things are imaged better on CT, some on MRI.
gailci replied to James Beckerman, MD, FACC's response:
Thank you again!!!!!!

Helpful Tips

Mediterranean DietGuest Expert
The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized as a booster of heart health. It is linked to lower risks of heart disease, stroke, ... More
Was this Helpful?
11 of 12 found this helpful

Expert Blog

The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center