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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2002 Oct;15(10 Pt 2):1309-14.

Phased-array intracardiac echocardiographic imaging of acute cardiovascular emergencies: Experimental studies in dogs.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa City 52242, USA.



We evaluated a newly developed phased-array intracardiac echocardiographic catheter.


Our aim was to evaluate the imaging capability of this new ICE catheter in an animal model simulating acute cardiovascular abnormalities.


ICE images were obtained from the right atrium during (1) acute left ventricular dysfunction; (2) acute coronary occlusion; (3) pericardial effusion and tamponade; and (4) pulmonary embolism.


Left ventricular dysfunction, induced experimentally by halothane inhalation, resulted in a fall in echocardiography-calculated ejection fraction from 47% +/- 11% to 25% +/- 10%, P <.01. Regional contraction abnormalities after acute coronary occlusion were identified without and with the ultrasound contrast agent Optison. Pericardial effusion produced by saline infusion into the pericardium was detected in amounts as small as 15 mL. Right ventricular and atrial compression and respiratory variation in right ventricular inflow during tamponade were demonstrated. After injection of intravenous thrombin to create venous thromboembolism, we demonstrated right ventricular dilatation and dysfunction and thrombi attached to the tricuspid and pulmonary valves and in the pulmonary artery.


This new phased-array ICE catheter may be a useful clinical tool for the diagnosis of heart failure, ischemia, tamponade, and pulmonary embolism.

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