Assessment of Image Quality of Repeated Limited Transthoracic Echocardiography After Cardiac Surgery

David J. Canty, Johan Heiberg, Jen A. Tan, Yang Yang, Alistair G. Royse, Colin F. Royse, Abdulelah Mobeirek, Fayez El Shaer, Turki Albacker, Rakan I. Nazer, Muhammed Fouda, Bakir M. Bakir, Ahmed A. Alsaddique

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Objectives The use of limited transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) has been restricted in patients after cardiac surgery due to reported poor image quality. The authors hypothesized that the hemodynamic state could be evaluated in a high proportion of patients at repeated intervals after cardiac surgery. Design Prospective observational study. Setting Tertiary university hospital. Participants The study comprised 51 patients aged 18 years or older presenting for cardiac surgery. Interventions Patients underwent TTE before surgery and at 3 time points after cardiac surgery. Images were assessed offline using an image quality scoring system by 2 expert observers. Hemodynamic state was assessed using the iHeartScan protocol, and the primary endpoint was the proportion of limited TTE studies in which the hemodynamic state was interpretable at each of the 3 postoperative time points. Measurements and Main Results Hemodynamic state interpretability varied over time and was highest before surgery (90%) and lowest on the first postoperative day (49%) (p<0.01). This variation in interpretability over time was reflected in all 3 transthoracic windows, ranging from 43% to 80% before surgery and from 2% to 35% on the first postoperative day (p<0.01). Image quality scores were highest with the apical window, ranging from 53% to 77% across time points, and lowest with the subcostal window, ranging from 4% to 70% across time points (p< 0.01). Conclusions Hemodynamic state can be determined with TTE in a high proportion of cardiac surgery patients after extubation and removal of surgical drains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-972
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • feasibility
  • image quality
  • monitoring
  • transthoracic echocardiography
  • ultrasonography

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