Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2004 Sep;21(9):700-7.

Transthoracic echocardiography for cardiopulmonary monitoring in intensive care.

Author information

Aarhus University Hospital, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Skejby Sygehus, Denmark.



To evaluate the feasibility of an abbreviated focus assessed transthoracic echocardiographic protocol, consisting of four standardized acoustic views for cardiopulmonary screening and monitoring.


The protocol was applied in 210 patients in a 20-bed multidisciplinary intensive care unit in a university hospital. When inconclusive, an additional transoesophageal echocardiographic examination was performed. Diagnosis, indication, acoustic window, position and value were recorded. Significant pathology, load, dimensions and contractility were assessed.


Two-hundred-and-thirty-three transthoracic and four transoesophageal echoes were performed. The protocol provided usable images of the heart in 97% of the patients, 58% subcostal, 80% apical and 69% parasternal. Images through one window were obtainable in 23%, through two windows in 41% and through three windows in 34%. In 227 patients (97.4%) the focus assessed echo protocol contributed positively. In 24.5% of cases the information was decisive, in 37.3% supplemental and in 35.6% supportive.


By means of an abbreviated, focus assessed transthoracic echo protocol it is feasible to visualize the haemodynamic determinants for assessment and optimization. One or more useful images are obtainable in 97% of critically ill patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center