Transesophageal Echocardiography in Patients Undergoing Elective Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has become a useful tool in monitoring the heart in patients during open-heart surgery. This study was undertaken to evaluate whether it is feasible to use TEE to assess left ventricular myocardial viability in anesthetized patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).A total of 84 patients were studied. To test myocardial viability, TEE and a low-dose dobutamine stress regimen were used. Echocardiographic data were analyzed off-line using a visual or semiautomatic analysis of segmental left ventricular wall motion (LVWM). Visual assessment was performed by readers blinded to the sequence of events. The agreement between readers in visual analysis of segmental LVWM in the transgastric short-axis view was 73% or higher. Segmental LVWM assessed by TEE was compared to hemodynamic data obtained by thermodilution pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) and coronary angiographic data. Also, using the same low-dose dobutamine stress regimen, TEE findings in the anesthetized patient perioperatively were compared with preoperative transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) findings in the awake patient.TEE was found to be feasible and adequate for testing left segmental ventricular viability. A concomitant increase in stroke volume assessed by PAC and decrease in LVWM-score assessed by TEE was found with dobutamine stimulation. Abnormal segmental LVWM corresponded to angiographically stenosed supplying coronary artery vessels. During dobutamine stimulation, 69% of the corresponding segments responded which is a sign of viability. The LVWM response to preoperative TTE and perioperative TEE dobutamine stress was comparable except for a significant difference in the apical segments.This study showed that perioperative TEE dobutamine stress could be used to test left ventricular viability and was also a valuable supplement to PAC, angiography and TTE. The acquired knowledge is important and suggest that further development of transesophageal ultrasound technology is warranted.