Transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a test that provides clinicians with pictures of the heart. It uses ultrasound to produce detailed pictures of the heart and the arteries. TEE differs from a standard echocardiogram. The echo transducer that produces the sound waves is attached to a tube that passes through the patient’s mouth, down their throat and into the oesophagus. The test can provide detailed pictures of the heart muscles, chambers, valves, pericardium and blood vessels.
TEE is usually used to identify problems in the structure and function of the heart and can provide a clearer picture of the situation than the standard echocardiogram. TEE is also a useful strategy in patients with a thick chest wall, obesity, bandages on the chest or if the patient is on a ventilator.
The use of TEE in the operating room and the ICU can thus provide important information on the patient’s cardiac and abdominal organ structure and function. It is also useful in case a transabdominal ultrasound examination is not possible during an intraoperative procedure or due to anatomical reasons.
Transgastric abdominal ultrasonography (TGAUS) also has an important role in perioperaitve medicine. There are several applications of TGAUS that can help in the diagnosis of abdominal conditions that are associated with organ dysfunction and haemodyamic instability in the operating room and the ICU.
Source: Anesthesia & Analgesia
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