Services provided by the Echo Core Lab are available to all investigators within and external to Mayo Clinic who require third-party interpretation of echocardiographic data for clinical trials.

To initiate a request for Echo Core Lab services or to send a request for proposal, contact the lab.

An Echo Core Lab cardiologist and sonographer review requests or discuss study requests with investigators directly and then submit a bid proposal outlining a plan of services and estimated cost.

The Echo Core Lab can advise on imaging protocol design to define specific echo measurements that will be most relevant and feasible for each study. It also can aid in preparation of proposals for submission for funding, such as National Institutes of Health grant proposals.

Project teams

For each project, a team of sonographers and physician echocardiologists is formed to minimize measurement variability.

The Echo Core Lab also creates an operation manual for each study and conducts training sessions for the echo personnel at the clinical sites.

These training sessions are offered in a variety of formats to accommodate all needs:

  • Webinars
  • Group sessions at the investigators' meeting
  • Telephone conference calls
  • One-to-one training

After completion of the training session, each clinical site sends up to five echo studies that contain all images and Doppler recordings necessary for the study to be certified to begin echo examination.

Echo studies performed at the clinical sites are typically transmitted via an electronic medium. The echo study uploaded by the clinical site is then downloaded to a server by the Echo Core Lab. Each study is entered into the Echo Core Lab database and submitted for analysis.

Echo measurements

The Echo Core Lab uses Digisonics workstations for almost all echo measurements, except for strain and 3D analysis. Research sonographers perform all necessary initial echo measurements according to the protocol and standardized method.

Digital frames with the measurements made are stored so that they can be audited or reviewed if necessary. After sonographer measurements, physician staff over-read and approve them.

All semiquantitative or complex assessments, such as visual estimation of ejection fraction, severity of valvular regurgitation, wall motion abnormalities, and ventricular systolic and diastolic function, are made by a physician staff member of the Echo Core Lab.

Sonographer and physician readers at Mayo Clinic provide the quality score with help from a biostatistics team dedicated to the Echo Core Lab for the previously determined items (2D parameters, Doppler recordings or color flow imaging). They also provide critiques or suggestions for improvement in study quality or for adding missing data.

Measurements, the quality score and individualized critiques are sent to the clinical sites and the sponsor.

The Echo Core Lab participates in subsequent statistical analyses and publications of the study results that use Echo Core Lab data.