Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 188 items

Open access

Sadie Bennett, Duwarakan Satchithananda and Gareth Law

Summary

A 42-year-old male was admitted with shortness of breath secondary to suspected heart failure and chest infection. An echocardiogram revealed a dilated and impaired left ventricle; ejection fraction 29%, with a large, mobile thrombus within the left ventricular apex. Due to the presence of liver dysfunction, vitamin K antagonists were deemed inappropriate; thus, the decision was taken to use the novel anticoagulation agent Apixaban. After 6 days of receiving Apixaban, a cardiac magnetic resonance scan was preformed, which showed complete resolution of the LV apical thrombus.

Learning points:

  • Patients with a dilated and impaired LV are at an increased risk of developing LV thrombus.

  • A large and mobile LV thrombus is associated with an increased risk of embolic events.

  • Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) are often the first-line therapy for LV thrombus; however, these may be inappropriate in some patients.

  • NOACs are advantageous in comparison to VKAs and are used to treat: non-valvular atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolisms and used in the prevention of recurrent deep vein thrombosis in adults.

  • To date, NOACs are not licensed for the treatment of an LV thrombus; however, there are growing evidence whereby there use has shown promise in reducing the risk of embolic events and demonstrate rapid reduction in size/full resolution of an LV thrombus.

  • Large, randomised research trials comparing NOACs and VKAs in the treatment of LV thrombus are needed, which may lead to a change in standard clinical practice that could benefit patients.

Open access

Neil David Hauser and Justiaan Swanevelder

Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) has, in certain clinical situations, become an almost universal monitor and diagnostic tool. In the perioperative environment, TOE is frequently used to guide anaesthetic management and assist with surgical decision making for, but not limited to, cardiothoracic, major vascular and transplant operations. The use of TOE is not limited to the theatre environment being frequently used in outpatient clinics, emergency departments and intensive care settings. Two case reports, one of oesophageal perforation and another of TOE utilization in a patient having previously undergone an oesophagectomy, introduce the need for care while using TOE and highlight the need for vigilance. The safe use of TOE, the potential complications and the suggested contra-indications are then considered together with suggestions for improving the safety of TOE in adult and paediatric patients.

Open access

Sergio Barros-Gomes, Abdallah El Sabbagh, Mackram F Eleid and Sunil V Mankad

Open access

Athina Chasapi, Adam Hobbs, Theodore Velissaris and Benoy N Shah

Open access

Theodoros Ntoskas, Farhanda Ahmad and Paul Woodmansey

Background

Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) services have traditionally been medically led. In some UK institutions, DSE lists are led by physiologists with medical support. In our tertiary cardiac centre at New Cross Hospital (NCH), the DSE service was established by a consultant echocardiographer. Following intensive training and assessment, the Trust approved drug administration by named senior cardiac physiologists. We believe this is the first report of a cardiac physiologist-managed DSE service, including physiologist drug administration. We have assessed the feasibility, safety and validity of this physiologist-led DSE service.

Methods

Retrospective analysis of 333 patients undergoing stress echocardiogram for inducible reversible ischaemia, myocardial viability and valvular heart disease over 6 months. Patients’ case notes review after 18–24 months.

Results

Overall, 92% of all cases (306) were performed by physiologists. In 300 studies, dobutamine was administered. The majority of the referrals were for coronary artery disease (CAD) assessment (281). In 235 cases, the study was uncomplicated. Sixty-seven patients developed dobutamine-related side effects. In 16 cases, complications led to early termination of the study. In two cases, urgent medical review was needed. Of the 281 studies for CAD assessment, 239 were negative for ischaemia, 28 were positive and 14 inconclusive. In 5 out of 28 cases with echocardiogram, evidence of inducible ischaemia, coronary angiography revealed unobstructed coronary arteries.

Conclusion

This study demonstrates the safety and effectiveness of this practice and provides potential for the expansion of the physiologists’ role and physiologist-led DSE services in other hospitals.

Open access

Thomas R Porter

In a study, published in this issue of Echo Research and Practice, Ntoskas et al. retrospectively analyzed the safety of a cardiac physiologist performing, and interpreting, Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) in of 300 patients undergoing DSE for the detection of inducible reversible ischemia, myocardial viability and valvular heart disease. While safety during the tests themselves did not appear to be compromised with this unsupervised approach, the interpretation of these DSEs causes concerns regarding broad patient safety relative to misread results.

Open access

Manasawee Indrabhinduwat, Maria C Arciniegas Calle, Joseph P Colgan and Hector R Villarraga

Summary

Thirty-seven-year-old male presented with cough, dyspnea, significant weight loss (20 kg) and subacute fever for the past 2 months. Physical examination revealed inspiratory and expiratory wheezing bilaterally. A normal S1, S2 and a 3/6 systolic ejection murmur at the left upper parasternal border with respiratory variation were found during cardiac auscultation. Kidney and bone marrow biopsy reported a high-grade B-cell lymphoma. Echocardiography and cardiac CT findings consisted of multiple intracardiac masses affecting the right ventricular (RV) outflow track, RV apex, medial portion of the right atrium and posterior left atrium, as well as mild impairment of the RV systolic function. The masses in the RV outflow track caused partial obstruction (pulmonary valve peak velocity 2.3 m/s) with a RV systolic pressure of 43 mmHg. The infiltrative mass in the interatrial septum extended into both the right and left atrial cavities. The right superior pulmonary vein was occluded. This patient was treated with aggressive chemotherapy and had a good clinical response that resulted in mass size reduction after the first course of chemotherapy. Multimodality imaging techniques such as echocardiography, cardiac CT and PET scan can provide complementary information to better evaluate, stage and manage these patients.

Learning points:

  • Lymphoma can be found as a primary tumor in cardiac tissue, but secondary cardiac lymphoma is far more common.

  • Appropriate investigation, histopathology, immunophenotype, staging and risk assessment are required for definite diagnosis and treatment.

  • Cardiac lymphoma frequently manifests as an ill-defined, infiltrative mass. Typical location is in the atrium (right atrium is the most common site). Pericardial thickening or effusion is also common.

  • Echocardiography is a quick, bedside, non-invasive assessment of anatomical involvement and hemodynamics affected by cardiac lymphoma. Echocardiographic findings of cardiac lymphoma include a hypoechoic, ill-defined infiltrative masses in the myocardium, nodular protrusion into cardiac chambers and pericardial effusion. Obstruction of inflow/outflow track can also be found.

  • If a diagnosis of cardiac lymphoma is made, the most effective treatment is chemotherapy. Surgical treatment may have a role when hemodynamic compromise does not respond to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Open access

Emily Worley, Bushra Rana, Lynne Williams and Shaun Robinson

Objective

The left atrium (LA) is exposed to left ventricular pressure during diastole. Applying the 2016 American Society of Echocardiography left ventricular diastolic function (LVDF) guidelines, this study aims to investigate whether left atrial ejection fraction (LAEF) and left atrial active emptying fraction (LAAEF) are markers of diastolic dysfunction (LVDD).

Methods

Retrospective cohort of consecutive patients (n = 124) who underwent transthoracic echocardiography were studied. Doppler peak velocities of passive (MV E) and active filling (MV A) were measured and ratio E/A calculated. Tissue Doppler imaging parameters of peak early (e′) of the septal and lateral mitral annulus were measured, and average E/e′ ratio (E/e′) was calculated. Tricuspid regurgitation velocity, left atrial maximum volume, left atrial minimum volume and LA volume pre-contraction were measured, allowing calculation of LAEF and LAAEF. Subjects were assigned LVDF categories.

Results

Binomial logistic regression model (X 2(2) = 48.924, P < 0.01) determined that LAEF and LAAEF predicted diastolic dysfunction with sensitivity 85.5% and specificity 78%. ROC curves determined good diagnostic accuracy for LAEF and LAAEF to predict LVDD, AUC 0.826 and 0.861 respectively. Logistic regression model (X 2(2) = 39.525, P < 0.01) predicted those patients with E/e′ ≥14 using LAEF and LAAEF with sensitivity 51.6% and specificity 92.4%. Moderate correlations were found between E/e′ and log derivatives of LAEF and LAAEF.

Conclusions

A decline in LAAEF and LAEF is associated with worsening LVDD.

Open access

Robina Matyal, Faraz Mahmood, Ziyad Omar Knio, Stephanie B Jones, Lu Yeh, Rabia Amir, Ruma Bose and John D Mitchell

Various metrics have been used in curriculum-based transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) training programs to evaluate acquisition of proficiency. However, the quality of task completion, that is the final image quality, was subjectively evaluated in these studies. Ideally, the endpoint metric should be an objective comparison of the trainee-acquired image with a reference ideal image. Therefore, we developed a simulator-based methodology of preclinical verification of proficiency (VOP) in trainees by tracking objective evaluation of the final acquired images. We utilized geometric data from the simulator probes to compare image acquisition of anesthesia residents who participated in our structured longitudinal simulator-based TEE educational program vs ideal image planes determined from a panel of experts. Thirty-three participants completed the study (15 experts, 7 postgraduate year (PGY)-1 and 11 PGY-4). The results of our study demonstrated a significant difference in image capture success rates between learners and experts (χ 2 = 14.716, df = 2, P < 0.001) with the difference between learners (PGY-1 and PGY-4) not being statistically significant (χ 2 = 0, df = 1, P = 1.000). Therefore, our results suggest that novices (i.e. PGY-1 residents) are capable of attaining a level of proficiency comparable to those with modest training (i.e. PGY-4 residents) after completion of a simulation-based training curriculum. However, professionals with years of clinical training (i.e. attending physicians) exhibit a superior mastery of such skills. It is hence feasible to develop a simulator-based VOP program in performance of TEE for junior anesthesia residents.