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Open access

Dimitris Klettas, Emma Alcock, Rafal Dworakowski, Philip MacCarthy and Mark Monaghan

Aim

The role of transoesophageal echocardiography in cardiac interventional structural procedures is well established and appreciated. However, the need for general anaesthesia (GA) throughout the procedure remains a controversial issue. The aim of the present study is to assess the feasibility and imaging quality of using a transnasal microrobe that allows the usage of conscious sedation in patients who undergo cardiac structural interventional procedures without missing the benefits, guidance and navigation of conventional trans-procedural TEE.

Methods

We analysed the trans-procedural images of 24 consecutive patients who underwent TAVI, TMVI or ASD/PFO closure, using a transnasal 2D microprobe (PHILIPS) and then we compared them with images taken by using a conventional 3D TEE probe (PHILIPS). In particular, we compared the imaging quality of the two probes regarding: (1) The anatomy, visualisation of valvular calcification and transvalvular colour Doppler of the aortic and mitral valve; (2) the imaging quality of PFO, ASD and interatrial communication colour flow; (3) the imaging of left ventricle systolic function and pericardial space and (4) transgastric imaging.

Results

All images were graded with a scale from 5 to 1. The average grade of imaging quality in the mitral valve was: anatomy, 4.3; calcification, 3.8; colour Doppler, 4.2. The average grade of imaging quality in the aortic valve was: anatomy, 4.3; calcification, 3.7; colour Doppler, 4.3. The average grade of imaging quality in PFO/ASD was 4.3. The average grade of imaging quality in LV/pericardial space was 4.2. The average grade of imaging quality in transgastric imaging was 4.1.

Conclusion

These results suggest that transnasal TEE can provide good anatomical image quality of relevant cardiac structures during cardiac structural interventions and this may facilitate these procedures being performed during conscious sedation without having to lose TEE guidance.

Open access

Ramasamy Manivarmane, Rebecca Taylor and Rajdeep Khattar

Our case highlights the finding of an abnormal pulmonary valve on 2D echocardiography, confirmed to be of bicuspid morphology with 3D imaging. The use of biplane imaging both in transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiography and routine use of three-dimensional views particularly in transoesophageal echocardiography are of incremental value in better delineating pulmonary valve anatomy.

Learning points:

  • Bicuspid pulmonary valve as an isolated clinical entity is a rare finding in clinical practice with an incidence of about 0.1%.

  • The true prevalence of the condition may be underestimated because of difficulty in visualising the pulmonary valve en-face on standard two-dimensional echocardiography.

  • Trans-oesophageal echocardiography may provide better visualization of the pulmonary valve when transthoracic images are affected by interference from the left lung.

  • Routine use of 3D echocardiography with biplane and zoomed views should be advocated for a full morphological assessment of the pulmonary valve, whether imaging via the transthoracic or transoesophageal approach.

Open access

Isaac Adembesa, Adriaan Myburgh and Justiaan Swanevelder

Summary

We present a patient with rheumatic heart disease involving all the heart valves. An intraoperative transoesophageal echocardiography confirmed severe mitral stenosis, severe aortic regurgitation, severe tricuspid regurgitation and stenosis, and severe pulmonary stenosis. The patient underwent successful quadruple valve replacement during a single operation at the Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

Learning points:

  • Rheumatic heart disease can affect all the heart valves including the pulmonary valve.

  • Intraoperative transoesophageal echocardiography is key for diagnosis, monitoring and confirmation of successful surgical result during heart valve surgery.

  • Combined surgical procedure of all four valves is possible though associated with long procedural time.

Open access

Mehrnoush Toufan, Leili Pourafkari, Fariborz Akbarzadeh and Nader D Nader

Summary

Right atrial appendage aneurysms (RAAAs) are rarely encountered. If symptomatic, they present with atrial arrhythmias or embolic events. Surgical resection is indicated for symptomatic patients. We describe a 65-year-old man presenting with palpitation for 6 months. Electrocardiogram showed atrial flutter. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a large thin-walled cystic mass anterior to right ventricular outflow tract, which was confirmed to be a giant RAAA by contrast transoesophageal echocardiography and later by contrast-enhanced computerised tomography. The patient underwent electrocardioversion, following which he remained in sinus rhythm and was asymptomatic during the 3 months follow-up period.

Learning points

  • RAAA can present with atrial flutter.

  • Transoesophageal contrast echocardiography is the most valuable non-invasive tool in diagnosis of RAAA.

  • Although computed tomography scan is not necessary for establishing the diagnosis, it may provide useful information regarding the structural anatomy.

Open access

Alexandra Savis and John Simpson

Echocardiography is the imaging modality of choice to diagnose different types of atrial septal defect and to determine which defects are suitable for catheter occlusion. In addition to assessment of defect size and rims, transoesophageal echocardiography may be used to guide the procedure itself including device placement, procedural complications and post-procedural checks. This review covers a practical approach to this subject and is accompanied by online videos illustrating the technique.

Open access

Caroline Bleakley, Mehdi Eskandari and Mark Monaghan

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) was initially proven as an alternative to valve replacement therapy in those beyond established risk thresholds for conventional surgery. With time the technique has been methodically refined and offered to a progressively lower risk cohort, and with this evolution has come that of the significant imaging requirements of valve implantation. This review discusses the role of transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) in the current TAVI arena, aligning it with that of cardiac computed tomography, and outlining how TOE can be used most effectively both prior to and during TAVI in order to optimise outcomes.

Open access

John B Chambers

This is a practical description of how replacement valves are assessed using echocardiography. Normal transthoracic appearances including normal variants are described. The problem of differentiating normal function, patient–prosthesis mismatch and pathological obstruction in aortic replacement valves with high gradients is discussed. Obstruction and abnormal regurgitation is described for valves in the aortic, mitral and right-sided positions and when to use echocardiography in suspected infective endocarditis. The roles of transoesophageal and stress echocardiography are described and finally when other imaging techniques may be useful.

Open access

Neil David Hauser and Justiaan Swanevelder

Trans-oesophageal echocardiography (TOE) has become an almost universal intraoperative monitor and diagnostic tool. The use of TOE in most cardiac, aortic, major vascular and transplant operations is used to aid anaesthetic management as well as assist surgical decision-making. In addition to the perioperative environment it is increasingly being used in the Outpatient Department, Emergency Department and Intensive Care settings. In this review we consider the safety associated with the use of TOE, we review the suggested contra-indications and areas that we would consider to TOE to be a necessity. Two case reports at the beginning of the review highlight the need for vigilance and care when utilizing TOE.

Open access

Malgorzata Wamil, Sacha Bull and James Newton

Despite significant advancements in the field of cardiovascular imaging, transoesophageal echocardiography remains the key imaging modality in the management of valvular pathologies. This paper provides echocardiographers with an overview of the modern role of TOE in the diagnosis and management of valvular disease. We describe how the introduction of 3D techniques has changed the detection and grading of valvular pathologies and concentrate on its role as a monitoring tool in interventional cardiology. In addition, we focus on the echocardiographic and Doppler techniques used in the assessment of prosthetic valves and provide guidance for the evaluation of prosthetic valves. Finally, we summarise quantitative methods used for the assessment of valvular stenosis and regurgitation and highlight the key areas where echocardiography remains superior over other novel imaging modalities.

Open access

Richard Wheeler, Richard Steeds, Bushra Rana, Gill Wharton, Nicola Smith, Jane Allen, John Chambers, Richard Jones, Guy Lloyd, Kevin O'Gallagher and Vishal Sharma

A systematic approach to transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) is essential to ensure that no pathology is missed during a study. In addition, a standardised approach facilitates the education and training of operators and is helpful when reviewing studies performed in other departments or by different operators. This document produced by the British Society of Echocardiography aims to provide a framework for a standard TOE study. In addition to a minimum dataset, the layout proposes a recommended sequence in which to perform a comprehensive study. It is recommended that this standardised approach is followed when performing TOE in all clinical settings, including intraoperative TOE to ensure important pathology is not missed. Consequently, this document has been prepared with the direct involvement of the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists (ACTA).