Acute lower extremity ischemia from septic emboli is a surgical emergency. Timely diagnosis and management are critical to improve patient outcome. However, traditional diagnostic modalities such as intraoperative angiogram are time-consuming, require special equipment and personnel, and introduce contrast exposure for critically ill patients. There are limited reports of utilization of point-of-care ultrasound to detect peripheral septic emboli. We present a case where femoral occlusive septic emboli were identified by point-of-care ultrasound after mitral valve replacement. This facilitated early surgical embolectomy and limb salvage. We suggest that perioperative point-of-care ultrasonography should be used as a first-line screening test in patients with acute lower extremity ischemia.
From the *Department of Anesthesiology and †Department of Cardiac Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.
Accepted for publication June 28, 2017.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Address correspondence to Yafen Liang, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232. Address e-mail to email@example.com.