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Looking for background information and reference sources?

Echocardiography uses ultrasound waves to generate images specifically of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures for assessment and diagnosis. It can measure blood flow by employing the Doppler Principle. Different types of echocardiograms include: transthoracic echocardiogram, transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), and stress echocardiogram.

For expanding definitions and placing your topic in context with other related subjects, example exercises are provided for you to learn to combine various search terms on the topic being researched and assist you in finding relevant information in the resources suggested below. The time furnished for these suggested searches may be less if you do not perform your own search.

Electronic Resources and Print

Credo Reference search (See related topics and identify research terms in Credo Reference.): 

Credo Reference provides access to medical dictionaries such as Mosby's dictionary of medicine, nursing & health professions, Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, and Jablonski's Dictionary of Medical Acronyms & Abbreviations.

5 minute exercise in Credo Reference
  • Into the search box, type “transthoracic echocardiography” or “echocardiography” with quotes to retrieve articles containing definitions and graphics. For more graphics perform an image search under that tab.
  • Begin again and click on the “Concept Map” to search for the topic “medical ultrasonic tomography” and choose “Medicine” for the subject. With the cursor on “medical ultrasonic tomography” hold the left button of the mouse and move the map around so that you may read the various related terms. By hovering over a term, you will find more information and keywords to broaden or narrow your searches. Broader terms will take Credo Reference longer to retrieve. 

Finding print or electronic resources from the Libraries Catalog search methods:

5-10 minute exercise In the Library Catalog
  • Use the “Articles” or “Books” tab that are available above the “Libraries Catalog search box on the libraries homepage,” search by the subject, “echocardiography,” choose a relevant article or book. Click on the title to see the full description.
  • Build a research vocabulary and narrow a topic by scrolling down through several title descriptions on your topic to find “Descriptors” or “Related Subjects” containing Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®). Subject headings are specific terms selected to describe individual works. 
  • By searching for these found related vocabulary terms such as “heart diseases-ultrasonography, fetal heart-ultrasonic imaging, two dimensional echocardiography, congenital heart disease-diagnosis, echocardiography-periodicals,” etc. you will find relevant works to echocardiography and perhaps, a research topic. Searching a library catalog by using LCSH is not the same as searching for keyword terms in Google.  LCSH are usually relevant to a topic. Keywords may not produce all relevant results. 

Smart Imagebase has thousands of medical illustrations, videos, interactive tools, and monographs of anatomy, physiology, embryology, surgery, trauma, pathology, diseases, conditions and other topics for download and may be used in papers and reports for educational purposes. 

Google Scholar provides indexing, abstracts, and occasional links to full text either to open access or the OIT Libraries’ paid licensed sources. 

5 minute exercise in Google Scholar
  • When the result of searching is an Oregon Tech paid subscription, click on “Find it @Oregon Tech” and use your email username and password to access the licensed resources.
  • Searching in Google Scholar includes the use of keywords for the topic of interest. Keywords are those words found anywhere in a particular book or article and are a good substitute for a search when you do not know the authorized subject heading. Keyword searches often may retrieve too many or irrelevant results. A search for “stress test and echocardiography” retrieves over 140,000 sources. By combining relevant keywords and choosing a publication date range, newer pertinent articles may be located.      

Browsing for “echocardiography” books on a library book shelf?

See the subjects and suggested Library of Congress call number ranges below: 

  • Doppler echocardiography or Echocardiography Atlases  RC683.5.U5 
  • Coronary Heart Disease-ultrasonic imaging  RC685.C6  
  • Fetal Echocardiography RG628.3.E24 
  • Two-dimensional echocardiography or congenital heart disease-diagnosis  RJ423.5 E43

Looking for scholarly articles?

Finding scholarly articles: sources and search methods

Scholarly articles are often peer reviewed. Here is a link to a video, “Peer Review in Five Minutes.” 

Peer-reviewed concept map created with Bubbl-us https://bubbl.us/ by Iris Godwin.

Peer-reviewed concept map
10 minute exercise creating a concept map
  • Subject headings are specific terms selected to describe individual works. When searching for books, these subject headings are referred to as Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Some sources use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®). When searching in electronic resources, these authorized and assigned subject headings may be found under a tab titled “Index, Thesaurus, CINAHL Headings,” etc. 
  • Start with the library search box on the right side of this page, choose the “Articles” tab on the Libraries Catalog search box, enter keywords about your topic e.g., fetal echocardiography and build a research vocabulary by scrolling down through several title descriptions on your topic to find “Descriptors” such as prenatal diagnosis, Heart defects-congenital, etc.. Click on a descriptor of interest to find related articles, search for more articles from the “Articles” tab combining the vocabularies found, or move to specific electronic resources suggested below.

Electronic resource suggested searches: 

CINAHL with Full Text – a comprehensive resource for peer- reviewed allied health literature and medical issues including searchable cited references. Using the “CINAHL Headings” tab will assist you in developing appropriate searches for your topic. 

5 minute exercise  in CINAHL
  • Open CINAHL with Full Text and find the “CINAHL headings” tab and search for “Doppler echocardiography” to retrieve Echocardiography, Doppler or Echocardiography, Doppler, Color, Echocardiography, Doppler, Transcranial, or Echocardiography, Doppler, Pulsed as subject headings used in this electronic resource. These headings or another one found in the hierarchical tree may be checked plus a “Major Concept” to retrieve relevant articles. Narrow results by using the left facets to refine the search, if needed. Learn definitions by clicking on the “Scope” note. 

MEDLINE – an online database of biomedical journal citations and abstracts covering all areas of medicine and indexed with NLM's controlled vocabulary, the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®). Full text must be ordered from another library using the Interlibrary Loan Article Request Form

  • A basic search for “echocardiography” in the MeSH Browser using the link (MeSH®) retrieves many related terms including Contrast Echocardiography
  • Go to EBSCO Medline MeSH Tab by clicking on MEDLINE and the top MeSh tab. Copy and paste this phrase; click on “Browse;” Click on the phrase “Echocardiography Stress” and the box in front of “Echocardiography, Transesophageal.” Check the box under Subheading, “Drug effects” and click “Search Database.” There is an article containing a comparison of transesophageal and transthoracic contrast-enhanced echocardiography during dobutamine administration. Keyword searches at the Medline basic and advanced search boxes may be performed too.

PubMed – a free resource that anyone may access is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.  Includes access to MEDLINE and to citations for selected articles in life science journals not included in MEDLINE. Not full-text but citations may include links to full-text articles from Pubmed Central (National Institutes of Health free digital archive), OIT Library subscription databases or open access publisher websites. Limit searches by clinical studies, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, medical genetics, practice guidelines, etc. 

5 minute or less exercise in PubMed
  • A PubMed search under PubMed Tools, Cinical Queries for “echo” will bring up multiple search options in a drop down.  Scroll and click “3d echocardiography” and “Search” to retrieve several hundred results under Clinical Study Categories. Add a topic keyword phrase in the search box such as “and left ventricle.”  Fewer than one hundred clinical studies give information for Therapy. Change the “Category” to Diagnosis and the “Scope” to Narrow. The scope may be narrow or broad with respect to the range of conditions. Pubmed automatically will run a search specifically designed for clinicians. 

Sage Journals Online – has more than 700 journals spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science, Technology, and Medicine, and more than 298 are published on behalf of learned societies and institutions. Access Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography .  To see the latest issue, click on the “Journal Title Results” and “Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 

5 minute exercise in Sage Journals Online
  • Type into the Sage Journals search box for “transesophageal echocardiogram” retrieves hundreds of results. Refine the search by adding the keyword phrase “and lupus” in the search box. To see the latest articles first, on the right choose: “Results order, most recent. Go.   

Wiley InterScience – full-text journals and books are available.  

  • Click on Advanced Search located below the Wiley search box.  Search for “echocardiography” (change All Fields to Abstract) and “statin therapy” (change All Fields to Abstract). 
  • By using the search parameter of “Abstract,” scholarly articles and books are usually retrieved. No books were found in this search. Use the links to look at a certain format in the FILTER LIST. You may also Sort by: “Date.”

Looking for more online resources? 

From Oregon Institute of Technology Homepage

  • See Electronic Resources by Subject for more sources or the Electronic Resources A –Z list. For more subject guides that may be of assistance, see Oregon Tech Library’s Find by Subject
  • If available through Oregon Tech Library subscriptions, locate specific electronic journal titles by entering the title of the journal in the search box at Find a Journal. Some titles that are available include: BMC Medical Imaging, Journal of Clinical Ultrasound and Medical Image Analysis. It is important to include “Journal of” or “Journal for” if it is included in the journal title. 

Selected Websites (alphabetical listing) 

Looking to evaluate articles?

Link to Evaluating Articles 101 presented by Anne Hiller-Clark at the library’s Digital Brownbag Series. [You will need to download a .jar file and have Java on your computer.]

Apply “TRUST” principles to the main supporting articles for your specific topic: 

  • Target purposeful and relevant information for the intended research
  • Review the qualifications and achievements of the author
  • Utilize peer-reviewed scholarly articles (articles reviewed by experts in the field)
  • Search if article includes impartial research and study the purpose for which it is written
  • Test the information for historical or current value for your topic
Iris Godwin

Iris Godwin, Technical Services Librarian

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Last updated June 2013