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Point-of-Care Ultrasound Facilitated Detection of Femoral Occlusive Septic Emboli During Mitral Valve Surgery: A Case Report

Bellomy, Melissa, L., MD*; Eagle, Susan, MD*; Pretorius, Mias, MBChB, MSCI*; Barton, Ben, R., MD; Liang, Yafen, MD*

doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000000619
Case Reports: Case Report

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.

Funding: None.

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

© 2018 International Anesthesia Research Society
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