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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2009 Mar;22(3):213-31; quiz 316-7. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2008.12.013.

Echocardiography-guided interventions.

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University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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  • J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2009 Apr;22(4):336.


A major advantage of echocardiography over other advanced imaging modalities (magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomographic angiography) is that echocardiography is mobile and real time. Echocardiograms can be recorded at the bedside, in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, in the cardiovascular intensive care unit, in the emergency room-indeed, any place that can accommodate a wheeled cart. This tremendous advantage allows for the performance of imaging immediately before, during, and after various procedures involving interventions. The purpose of this report is to review the use of echocardiography to guide interventions. We provide information on the selection of patients for interventions, monitoring during the performance of interventions, and assessing the effects of interventions after their completion. In this document, we address the use of echocardiography in commonly performed procedures: transatrial septal catheterization, pericardiocentesis, myocardial biopsy, percutaneous transvenous balloon valvuloplasty, catheter closure of atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovale (PFO), alcohol septal ablation for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and cardiac electrophysiology. A concluding section addresses interventions that are presently investigational but are likely to enter the realm of practice in the very near future: complex mitral valve repairs, left atrial appendage (LAA) occlusion devices, 3-dimensional (3D) echocardiographic guidance, and percutaneous aortic valve replacement. The use of echocardiography to select and guide cardiac resynchronization therapy has recently been addressed in a separate document published by the American Society of Echocardiography and is not further discussed in this document. The use of imaging techniques to guide even well-established procedures enhances the efficiency and safety of these procedures.

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