Utility of transesophageal echocardiography during port-access minimally invasive cardiac surgery

Robert M. Applebaum, Wayne M. Cutler, Nisha B. Bhardwaj, Stephen B. Colvin, Aubrey C. Galloway, Greg H. Ribakove, Eugene A. Grossi, Daniel S. Schwartz, Richard V. Anderson, Paul A. Tunick, Itzhak Kronzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


In this study, we sought to determine the use of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) as the primary imaging technique to assist in the placement of endovascular catheters during minimally invasive, port-access cardiac surgery. The recent development of endovascular catheters that are placed via the femoral artery and vein has enabled patients to be placed on cardiopulmonary bypass without the need for direct visualization of the heart or great vessels via sternotomy. This has allowed cardiac surgery to be performed through smaller thoracotomy incisions. Placement of these catheters has previously been performed with fluoroscopic guidance, which has major imaging limitations. Thirty-six patients underwent port-access cardiac surgery at our institution during the study period. All patients underwent intraoperative TEE. We used TEE to visualize the coronary sinus os, right atrium and superior vena cava, and thoracic aorta to assist with placement of the coronary sinus catheter, venous cannula, and endoaortic clamp. Twenty patients underwent mitral valve surgery, 14 patients coronary artery bypass grafting, 1 patient aortic valve replacement, and 1 patient repair of an atrial septal defect by the port-access approach. TEE was able to adequately visualize the cardiac structures and assist in the placement of the endovascular catheters in all patients. Fluoroscopy was only helpful as an aid to TEE for placement of the coronary sinus catheter. TEE is an excellent imaging modality for the proper placement of these new endovascular catheters, obviating the need for fluoroscopy, except to be on standby and for placement of the coronary sinus catheter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes


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