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Open access

Rezvaniyeh Salehi, Rezayat Parvizi, Leili Pourafkari, and Nader D Nader

Open access

Real Lebeau, Georgetta Sas, Malak El Rayes, Alexandrina Serban, Sherif Moustafa, Btissama Essadiqi, Maria DiLorenzo, Vicky Souliere, Yanick Beaulieu, Claude Sauve, Robert Amyot, and Karim Serri

For the non-cardiologist emergency physician and intensivist, performing an accurate estimation of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is essential for the management of critically ill patients, such as patients presenting with shock, severe respiratory distress or chest pain. Our objective was to develop a semi-quantitative method to improve visual LVEF evaluation. A group of 12 sets of transthoracic echocardiograms with LVEF in the range of 18–64% were interpreted by 17 experienced observers (PRO) and 103 untrained observers or novices (NOV), without previous training in echocardiography. They were asked to assess LVEF by two different methods: i) visual estimation (VIS) by analysing the three classical left ventricle (LV) short-axis views (basal, midventricular and apical short-axis LV section) and ii) semi-quantitative evaluation (base, mid and apex (BMA)) of the same three short-axis views. The results for each of these two methods for both groups (PRO and NOV) were compared with LVEF obtained by radionuclide angiography. The semi-quantitative method (BMA) improved estimation of LVEF by PRO for moderate LV dysfunction (LVEF 30–49%) and normal LVEF. The visual estimate was better for lower LVEF (<30%). In the NOV group, the semi-quantitative method was better than than the visual one in the normal group and in half of the subjects in the moderate LV dysfunction (LVEF 30–49%) group. The visual estimate was better for the lower LVEF (ejection fraction <30%) group. In conclusion, semi-quantitative evaluation of LVEF gives an overall better assessment than VIS for PRO and untrained observers.

Open access

Baskar Sekar, Hunaid Vohra, Salman Nishtar, and Javed Ehtisham

Open access

Mashail Alobaidan, A Saleem, H Abdo, and J Simpson

Summary

The case report of a 15-year-old patient with an unusual form of atrial septal defect is described. Echocardiography showed separation of the secundum and primum atrial septums due to abnormal posterior and leftward attachment of the primum septum into the roof of the left atrium. The morphology has been variably described as a ‘double’ atrial septum or ‘spiral’ atrial septal defect. Despite the technical challenge of this form of atrial septal defect, it was effectively closed by ensuring that all relevant septal structures were incorporated between the discs of the occlusion device. This was associated with a stable position and good medium-term outcome. This contrasts with the experience of others where device embolisation or technical failure has been described.

Learning points

  • The spiral atrial septal defect is characterised by an apparently ‘double’ atrial septum.

  • Such atrial septal defects (ASDs) have been associated with a high rate of technical failure of transcatheter closure.

  • 3D echocardiography assists in understanding the anatomy of the defect.

  • Following deployment of the ASD occlusion device transoesophageal echocardiography is essential to ensure that both septum primum and secundum are between the occluder discs.

  • Catheter closure can be successful if close attention is paid to the morphology of the defect and incorporation of margins within the discs of the septal occluder.

Open access

Ashraf Roshdy, Georgios T Karapanagiotidis, Mazin A I Sarsam, and Simon N Fletcher

Summary

Acute aortic valve obstruction is a medical and surgical emergency necessitating intensive care unit admission. The differential diagnosis includes thrombosis, pannus formation or vegetations. The diagnosis should be obtained as soon as possible, with possible orientation towards the cause. Different diagnostic modalities exist nowadays. Notably, the transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) offers a diagnosis and a guide for management. Surgical treatment remains of choice despite growing evidence about a benefit of combined thrombolytic and anticoagulation line of management.

Learning points

  • Acute management and resuscitation of acute valvular obstruction.

  • Differential diagnosis and role of echo in the diagnosis.

  • Management options.

Open access

Nigel Dewey, Lal Hussain Mughal, Andrew R Houghton, and Jeffrey Khoo

Open access

Nigel Dewey, Andrew R Houghton, and Jeffrey Khoo

Open access

Tudor Trache, Stephan Stöbe, Adrienn Tarr, Dietrich Pfeiffer, and Andreas Hagendorff

Comparison of 3D and 2D speckle tracking performed on standard 2D and triplane 2D datasets of normal and pathological left ventricular (LV) wall-motion patterns with a focus on the effect that 3D volume rate (3DVR), image quality and tracking artifacts have on the agreement between 2D and 3D speckle tracking. 37 patients with normal LV function and 18 patients with ischaemic wall-motion abnormalities underwent 2D and 3D echocardiography, followed by offline speckle tracking measurements. The values of 3D global, regional and segmental strain were compared with the standard 2D and triplane 2D strain values. Correlation analysis with the LV ejection fraction (LVEF) was also performed. The 3D and 2D global strain values correlated good in both normally and abnormally contracting hearts, though systematic differences between the two methods were observed. Of the 3D strain parameters, the area strain showed the best correlation with the LVEF. The numerical agreement of 3D and 2D analyses varied significantly with the volume rate and image quality of the 3D datasets. The highest correlation between 2D and 3D peak systolic strain values was found between 3D area and standard 2D longitudinal strain. Regional wall-motion abnormalities were similarly detected by 2D and 3D speckle tracking. 2DST of triplane datasets showed similar results to those of conventional 2D datasets. 2D and 3D speckle tracking similarly detect normal and pathological wall-motion patterns. Limited image quality has a significant impact on the agreement between 3D and 2D numerical strain values.

Open access

Andreas Zafiropoulos, Kaleab Asrress, Simon Redwood, Stuart Gillon, and David Walker

Management of medical cardiac arrest is challenging. The internationally agreed approach is highly protocolised with therapy and diagnosis occurring in parallel. Early identification of the precipitating cause increases the likelihood of favourable outcome. Echocardiography provides an invaluable diagnostic tool in this context. Acquisition of echo images can be challenging in cardiac arrest and should occur in a way that minimises disruption to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In this article, the reversible causes of cardiac arrest are reviewed with associated echocardiography findings.

Case

A 71-year-old patient underwent right upper lobectomy for lung adenocarcinoma. On the 2nd post-operative day, he developed respiratory failure with rising oxygen requirement and right middle and lower lobe collapse and consolidation on chest X-ray. He was commenced on high-flow oxygen therapy and antibiotics. His condition continued to deteriorate and on the 3rd post-operative day he was intubated and mechanically ventilated. Six hours after intubation, he became suddenly hypotensive with a blood pressure of 50 systolic and then lost cardiac output. ECG monitoring showed pulseless electrical activity. CPR was commenced and return of circulation occurred after injection of 1 mg of adrenaline. Focused echocardiography was performed, which demonstrated signs of massive pulmonary embolism. Thrombolytic therapy with tissue plasminogen activator was given and his condition stabilised.

Open access

Barun Kumar, Anupam Singh, and Mohamad Akram