The impact of intraoperative echocardiography on clinical outcomes following adult cardiac surgery.
Over the past 30 years, intraoperative echocardiography has become an invaluable diagnostic tool and monitor of cardiac performance for the management of cardiac surgical patients. The essential information provided by intraoperative echocardiography regarding hemodynamic management, cardiac valve function, congenital heart lesions, and great vessel pathology has contributed to its widespread popularity. Numerous investigations have been conducted in an attempt to specifically demonstrate a beneficial impact of intraoperative echocardiography in cardiac surgery. However, there is a relative paucity of data derived from prospective trials in which the use of intraoperative echocardiography has been randomized among various cardiac surgical patient populations to formally ascertain, rather than simply infer, its putative impact on perioperative decision-making and clinical outcomes. Ironically, the popularity of intraoperative echocardiography has imposed ethical limitations on performing randomized trials in patient populations for whom significant benefit has been previously inferred. Nonetheless, significant evidence has been published to support its almost universal acceptance as an important perioperative diagnostic tool and monitor for cardiac surgical patients. This review focuses on the impact of intraoperative echocardiography on clinical outcomes in the more common adult cardiac surgical scenarios, including coronary artery bypass graft surgery, mitral and aortic valve surgery, and in evaluating the intrathoracic aorta.
Fox, J; Glas, K; Swaminathan, M; Shernan, S
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