OBJECTIVE - A new slender, flexible, and miniaturized disposable monoplane transesophageal TEE probe has been approved for episodic hemodynamic transesophageal echocardiographic monitoring. The authors hypothesized that episodic monoplane TEE with a limited examination would help guide the postoperative management of high-risk cardiac surgery patients.
DESIGN - The authors analyzed the initial consecutive observational experience with the miniaturized transesophageal echocardiography monitoring system (ClariTEE, ImaCor, Uniondale, New York).
SETTING - Single institution in a university setting.
PARTICIPANTS - Unstable cardiac surgery patients.
INTERVENTIONS - The authors assessed fluid responsiveness, echocardiographic data, and concordance among hemodynamic data.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - From June 2010 to February 2011, 21 unstable cardiac surgery patients with postoperative instability were identified. Two patients (10%) required reoperation for bleeding and tamponade physiology. Right ventricular dysfunction was diagnosed by episodic TEE monitoring in 7 patients (33%), while hypovolemia was documented in 12 patients (57%). Volume responsiveness was documented in 11 patients. In this observational study, discordance between hemodynamic monitoring and episodic TEE was qualitatively observed in 14 patients (66%).
CONCLUSION - The authors demonstrated the ability of episodic monoplane TEE to identify discordance between hemodynamic monitoring to better define clinical scenarios in unstable cardiac surgery patients. For these challenging patients, limited episodic TEE assessment has become a cornerstone of ICU care in this institution.
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