Does transesophageal echocardiography improve postoperative outcome in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery?

Michihisa Kato, Yasushi Nakashima, Jeffrey Levine, Paul L. Goldiner, Yasu Oka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The incidence and characteristics of ischemic episodes as detected by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and their relationship to postoperative myocardial infarction (MI) and adverse clinical outcome were studied in patients under-going coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Seventeen of 50 patients had 21 TEE-defined ischemic episodes: 4 patients (8%) had 4 ischemic episodes in the pre-cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) period, and 15 patients (30%) had 17 ischemic episodes in the post-CPB period, whereas 19 patients had 20 ECG ischemic episodes: 3 patients (6%) had 3 ischemic episodes in the pre-CPB period and 17 (34%) had 17 ischemic episodes in the post-CPB period. In 14 patients, ischemic episodes were detected by both TEE and ECG. Clinicians were made aware of the TEE data and appropriate treatments were undertaken during ischemic episodes: of the 15 patients with TEE-defined post-CPB ischemia, 4 had an additional saphenous vein graft placed, 8 had an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) inserted, 3 were given sublingual nifedipine, and 13 received nitroglycerin. These treatments resulted in improvement in regional wall motion abnormalities (RWMA) by the end of surgery in 11 of the 15 patients (73%), including the 4 with postoperative MI and 2 who died with cardiogenic shock. The authors conclude that: (1) significantly more patients had TEE-defined ischemic episodes in the post-CPB period (30%) than in the pre-CPB period (8%); (2) a poor graft and/or inadequate myocardial protection were strongly suggestive of post-CPB ischemia, which was significantly related to adverse outcome; and (3) TEE was a useful tool enabling detection of problem areas at an early stage and timely and appropriate treatment to support and sustain patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-289
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • myocardialischemia
  • postoperative outcome
  • transesophageal echocardiography


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