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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1990 Sep;16(3):686-94.

Comparative values of the precordial and transesophageal approaches in the echocardiographic evaluation of atrial baffle function after an atrial correction procedure.

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Department of Echocardiography, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Previous methods used to assess atrial baffle function after correction of transposition of the great arteries have included precordial echocardiography and cardiac catheterization. To evaluate whether single plane transesophageal echocardiography might provide additional information, its findings were correlated with information derived from both precordial echocardiography and cardiac catheterization in 15 patients (14 Mustard procedures, 1 Senning procedure) aged 4.2 to 33 years (mean 16.3). Precordial ultrasound with combined imaging, color flow mapping and pulsed Doppler ultrasound visualized the supramitral portion of the common systemic venous atrium in every case but could identify only superior limb obstruction in three of six patients, mid-baffle obstruction in zero of two and inferior limb obstruction in zero of two patients. Transesophageal studies with use of the same range of ultrasound methods demonstrated superior limb obstruction (severe in four, mild in two) in six of six patients, mid-baffle obstruction in two of two and inferior limb obstruction in two of two patients. The entire pulmonary venous atrium was equally well interrogated by either ultrasound approach, with both identifying three cases (two mild, one moderate) of mid-pulmonary venous atrium obstruction. However, individual pulmonary vein velocity profiles could only be recorded by transesophageal pulsed Doppler ultrasound. Precordial studies identified baffle leaks (1 large, 2 small) in only three patients, whereas transesophageal studies identified 11 such baffle leaks (1 large, 10 small), which were multiple in two patients. It is concluded that transesophageal echocardiography provides a more detailed and accurate assessment of atrial baffle morphology and function than is provided by either precordial ultrasound or cardiac catheterization.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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