The clinical role of transoesophageal echocardiography

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
I W BlackW F Walsh


The role of transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) was evaluated in a consecutive series of 100 procedures performed in 86 patients (age 17-81, mean 56 years). All patients had prior transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). TEE was performed with a 5 MHz phased array transoesophageal transducer with pulsed wave Doppler and colour flow mapping capability. Forty-four per cent of patients received intravenous sedation and 36% received antibiotic prophylaxis. There were no complications of TEE. The TTE and TEE findings were compared. In patients referred for possible cardiac source of embolism, left atrial thrombi were detected in 8/27 TEE studies but in none of 27 TTE studies. In 12 patients with prosthetic valve dysfunction TEE distinguished prosthetic from periprosthetic regurgitation in 9/12 studies compared to 3/12 with TTE. In 11 patients with suspected aortic dissection TEE correctly detected dissection in all seven cases in which the diagnosis was subsequently confirmed, whereas TTE showed only equivocal findings in two cases. Vegetations were detected by TEE in 4/5 studies in patients with proven native valve endocarditis and by TTE in 2/5. No vegetations were detected by TTE or TEE in five studies in patients with proven pr...Continue Reading


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