Rescue Transesophageal Echocardiography: A Narrative Review of Current Knowledge and Practice

Published:January 02, 2023DOI:
      Perioperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has been part of clinical activity for more than 40 years. During this period, TEE has evolved in terms of technology and clinical applications beyond the initial fields of cardiology and cardiac surgery. The benefits of TEE in the diagnosis and management of acute hemodynamic and respiratory collapse have been recognized in noncardiac surgery and by other specialties too. This natural progress led to the development of rescue TEE, a relatively recent clinical application that extends the use of TEE and makes it accessible to a large group of clinicians and patients requiring acute care. In this review, the authors appraise the current clinical applications and evidence base around this topic. The authors provide a thorough review of the various image acquisition protocols, clinical benefits, and compare it with the more frequently used transthoracic echocardiography. Furthermore, the authors have reviewed the current training and credentialing pathways. Overall, rescue TEE is a highly attractive and useful point-of-care examination, but the current evidence base is limited and the technical protocols, training, and credentialing processes are not standardized. There is a need for adequate guidelines and high-quality research to support its application as a bedside rescue tool.

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