Imagine your heart as the main character in a compelling tale. Think of it as a powerful engine in a car. When it works, you know it works. When it doesn’t, you are unsure if it’s your faithful engine or it’s a part of ‘just getting old’. In any great story, there are challenges along the way.

In each monthly newsletter, leading up to the end of the year, we will explore different challenges the heart may encounter. These challenges will be presented in a ‘chicken or the egg’ narrative style: Is the issue originating from your heart or somewhere else in the body? You will see how the heart fights to adapt and overcome these challenges, giving you subtle clues along the way that something isn’t quite right.

Some of the pathologies that will be explored:

  • High blood pressure and leg swelling
  • ‘Leaky’ valves and ‘stuck/narrowed’ valves
  • Electrical issues: Heart block – where the top of the heart is out of sync with the bottom of the heart. Atrial fibrillation – where the top of the heart fires off too many signals for the bottom of the heart.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy – where the heart becomes enlarged
  • Pericardial effusion – fluid around the heart restricts the filling of the heart
  • And many more

Let’s take a look at what a normal heart looks like as a good reference point. The blood works its way through the right side of the heart to the lungs to get oxygenated. Then through the left side of the heart and goes out to the body.

  1. The blood returns back to the heart from the body
  2. Travels through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle
  3. Squeezed from the right ventricle out to the lungs
  4. Oxygenated blood returns back to the heart
  5. The blood travels through the mitral valve into the left ventricle
  6. The blood is squeezed out to the rest of the body


Moving image (GIF) showing an ultrasound of a healthy heart with directive arrows

Moving image (GIF) showing an ultrasound of a healthy heart


The above images show an ultrasound of a healthy heart. This test is called an echocardiogram and you can access this test with us at UQ Healthy Living. If you would like to learn more about getting an echocardiogram at UQ Healthy Living, please click the button below.

Don’t forget, a referral from a doctor is required for the test. If you have a referral for an echocardiogram, please get in contact with us to make a booking.

Learn more

Was this article interesting/ helpful?

  1. Yes – it is interesting to know and understand more about the heart and how it interacts with the rest of the body.

  2. Yes, Thank you for the information it will increase my knowledge about my body and the role heart plays.

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