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Cardiol Clin. 2000 Nov;18(4):861-92.

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in congenital heart disease with focus on the adult.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Remarkable innovations in medical and surgical approaches over the past several decades now allow for correction of major cardiac defects in children, even in early infancy. These advances have provided for survival of many pediatric patients with congenital heart disease into adulthood. Although transthoracic echocardiography remains the primary imaging technique for the characterization of simple and complex congenital cardiovascular malformations in the pediatric and adult age groups, high-resolution transesophageal imaging has markedly expanded the anatomic and hemodynamic assessment in these patients. The benefits of this imaging approach apply particularly to those with challenging or limited transthoracic examinations or poorly characterized congenital cardiovascular malformations. The utility of TEE in defining the anatomy of the usual spectrum of congenital cardiac malformations is well established. The transesophageal approach has been shown to provide additional diagnostic information over conventional transthoracic imaging for specific structural cardiac anomalies and in the perioperative setting, the opportunity for confirmation of preoperative diagnoses, and modification of the surgical plan if new or different pathology is identified. This imaging modality also may reliably provide for immediate detection of suboptimal surgical repairs and significant postoperative residua, potentially improving the efficacy of the surgical intervention. This accounts for the vital role of this technology in perioperative management and integration into the standard of care in many congenital heart centers. The usefulness of TEE also has been documented during diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac catheterizations of patients with structural cardiac anomalies, allowing for safer and more effective application of these technologies. The experience supports the use of TEE as a useful approach in the surveillance of the adult with operated and unoperated congenital heart disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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