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      The safety of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography: a case series of 7200 cardiac surgical patients.

      Anesthesia and Analgesia
      Adult, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Echocardiography, Transesophageal, adverse effects, contraindications, Humans, Intraoperative Complications, Intraoperative Period, Postoperative Complications, Retrospective Studies

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          Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is an invaluable intraoperative diagnostic monitor that is considered to be relatively safe and noninvasive. Insertion and manipulation of the TEE probe, however, may cause oropharyngeal, esophageal, or gastric trauma. We report the incidence of intraoperative TEE-associated complications in a single-center series of 7200 adult cardiac surgical patients. Information related to intraoperative TEE-associated complications was obtained retrospectively from the intraoperative TEE data form, routine postoperative visits, and cardiac surgical morbidity and mortality data. The overall incidences of TEE-associated morbidity and mortality in the study population were 0.2% and 0%, respectively. The most common TEE-associated complication was severe odynophagia, which occurred in 0.1% of the study population. Other complications included dental injury (0.03%), endotracheal tube malpositioning (0.03%), upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage (0.03%), and esophageal perforation (0.01%). TEE probe insertion was unsuccessful or contraindicated in 0.18% and 0.5% of the study population, respectively. These data suggest that intraoperative TEE is a relatively safe diagnostic monitor for the management of cardiac surgical patients. The overall morbidity (0.2%) and mortality (0%) rates of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) were determined in a retrospective case series of 7200 adult, anesthetized cardiac surgical patients. The most common source of TEE-associated morbidity was odynophagia (0.1%), which resolved with conservative management. These results suggest that TEE is a safe diagnostic tool for the management of cardiac surgical patients.

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