Trans-esophageal echocardiography in the acutely ill

Trans-esophageal echocardiography is an accurate and semi-invasive technology that offers the skilled practitioner a clear window into functional and structural assessments of the heart. In the esophagus and behind the heart, TEE yields high resolution imaging that is uninterrupted by the chest wall. While TEE is traditionally considered a technology limited to the echo lab, it has gradually become an essential technology in the peri-operative setting and in care of the critically ill.

In addition to offering higher quality views than the traditional trans-thoracic approach, TEE offers  repeatable, dynamic feedback to monitor hemodynamics and critical pathology in rapidly-changing conditions.

This section will explore the indications, contra-indications, core views, and key pathology.

This image below highlights core reciprocal views shared by both trans-esophageal and trans-thoracic echocardiography.