Author + information
- Received October 6, 1994
- Revision received January 30, 1995
- Accepted March 8, 1995
- Published online July 1, 1995.
- Paul A. Heidenreich, MD,
- Raymond F. Stainback, MD,
- Rita F. Redberg, MD, FACC,
- Nelson B. Schiller, MD, FACC,
- Neal H. Cohen, MD and
- Elyse Foster, MD, FACC*
- ↵*Address for correspondence: Dr. Elyse Foster, Echocardiography Laboratory, Box 0214, 505 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, California 94143-0214.
Objectives. This study sought to determine the prognostic yield and utility of transesophageal echocardiography in critically ill patients with unexplained hypotension.
Background. Transesophageal echocardiography is increasingly utilized in the intensive care setting and is particularly suited for the evaluation of hypotension; however, the prognostic yield of transesophageal echocardiography in these patients is unknown.
Methods. We prospectively studied 61 adult patients in the intensive care unit with sustained (>60 min) unexplained hypotension. Both transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography were performed, and results were immediately disclosed to the primary physician, who reported any resulting changes in management. Patients were classified on the basis of transesophageal echocardiographic findings into one of three prognostic groups: 1) nonventricular (valvular, pericardial) cardiac limitation to cardiac output; 2) ventricular failure; and 3) noncardiac systemic disease (hypovolemia or low systemic vascular resistance, or both). Primary end points were death or discharge from the intensive care unit.
Results. A transesophageal echocardiographic diagnosis of nonventricular limitation to cardiac output was associated with improved survival to discharge from the intensive care unit (81%) versus a diagnosis of ventricular disease (41%) or hypovolemia/ low systemic vascular resistance (44%, p = 0.03). Twenty-nine (64%) of 45 transthoracic echocardiographic studies were inadequate compared with 2 (3%) of 61 transesophageal echocardiographic studies (p < 0.001). Transesophageal echocardiography contributed new clinically significant diagnoses (not seen with transthoracic echocardiography) in 17 patients (28%), leading to operation in 12 (20%).
Conclusions. Transesophageal echocardiography makes a clinically important contribution to the diagnosis and management of unexplained hypotension and predicts prognosis in the critical care setting.
All editorial decisions for this article, including selection of referees, were made by a Guest Editor. This policy applies to all articles with authors from the University of California San Francisco.
- Received October 6, 1994.
- Revision received January 30, 1995.
- Accepted March 8, 1995.
- The American College of Cardiology