The safety of contrast echocardiography: report of the Committee on Contrast Echocardiography for the American Society of Echocardiography.
The results of a survey of 363 physicians performing echocardiography were evaluated to assess the relative safety of contrast echocardiography. Fifteen physicians reported a variety of transient side effects, including neurologic and respiratory symptoms. Although contrast echocardiography appeared to carry some risk for side effects, that risk was low (0.062%) and no residual side effects or complications were observed. In view of the significant benefits reported for contrast echocardiography, it appears to remain a valuable technique that is safer than currently available alternative diagnostic modalities. However, during contrast echocardiography, precautions should be taken to prevent the injection of visible amounts of air, especially in patients with a right to left shunt or arterial catheters.
Bommer, WJ; Shah, PM; Allen, H; Meltzer, R; Kisslo, J
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