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Transthoracic echocardiography in the perioperative setting

Jørgensen, Martin Ruben Skoua; Juhl-Olsen, Petera; Frederiksen, Christian Alcarazb; Sloth, Erika

Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: February 2016 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 46–54
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000271
CARDIOVASCULAR ANESTHESIA: Edited by Alexander Zarbock

Purpose of review A need for further assessment of patients in the perioperative setting and an increasing availability of ultrasonography equipment have facilitated the diffusion of ultrasonography and lately focused transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in anesthesiology practice. This review will discuss the possible use of focused TTE in the perioperative setting and provides an update on present and future perspectives.

Recent findings Several studies focusing on patient management and diagnostic accuracy of perioperative, focused TTE, have been published recently. Several multidisciplinary guidelines addressing use and educational aspects of focused ultrasonography are available, yet guidelines focusing solely on the use in the perioperative setting are lacking.

Summary Hemodynamically significant cardiac disease or pathophysiology can be disclosed using TTE. Focused TTE is feasible for perioperative patient management and monitoring and will be an inevitable and indispensable tool for the anesthetist. Future research should focus on the outcome of perioperative TTE performed by anesthetists, using rigorous study designs and patient-centered outcomes such as mortality and morbidity.

aDepartment of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine

bDepartment of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

Correspondence to Erik Sloth, MD, PhD, DMSc Professor of Point-Of-Care Ultrasound Consultant Cardiothoracic Anaesthetist, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Blv. 99, 8200 Aarhus, Denmark. Tel: +45 4075 7844; e-mail:

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