Preparation for the test
No special preparation is required. Female patients are required to change into a hospital gown, however lower clothing remains in place. Please take medications as normal. There is no need to fast for this test.
A Saline Contrast Study is usually combined with an Echocardiogram (see separate information page)
A Saline Contrast Study involves placement of a small intravenous drip into a right arm vein (similar to a blood test). Several small doses of saline will be injected into the vein, while heart ultrasound pictures are taken at the same time.
The examination takes approximately 15 minutes and there may be the usual minor discomfort of inserting the intravenous line.
The type of ultrasound used in the test is not harmful, and there is no radiation. No medication is given for the test. The saline used in the test will not cause drowsiness.
After the test
There are no special requirements for the patient after the test. No drugs are given, so patients can drive as normal. A small Band-Aid will be applied to the site of the intravenous catheter. The patient can remove this after a few hours.
Echocardiogram images will be sent to one of our Senior Cardiologists for assessment in Melbourne. Results are typically back with the referring doctor within five days.
If your results are urgently required due to pending treatment or consultation, please let us know and we’ll do our best to meet your deadline.