[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sudden unexpected intraoperative cardiac arrests in patients undergoing elective non-cardiac operations are rare but catastrophic complications. The efficacy and utility of transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) in the diagnosis and management of these events have not been reported earlier.
Unexpected intraoperative cardiac arrests in patients undergoing elective non-cardiac operations were prospectively studied during a 6 yr period. In these patients, TOE was performed within 5 min after initiation of external chest compression to identify the causes of the cardiac arrests.
Among a total of 125 965 surgical operations, 10 patients who suffered intraoperative cardiac arrests were studied. The causes of the cardiac arrests including myocardial infarction in five, pulmonary embolism in two, and severe hypovolaemia and ventricular arrhythmia without specific pathology in the other two patients were correctly identified using TOE. Seven patients survived.
We conclude that TOE was useful in cardiac arrest during non-cardiac surgery for identifying or excluding pulmonary embolism and for directing investigations and treatment in those patients who had suffered myocardial infarction.
BJA British Journal of Anaesthesia 03/2006; 96(2):167-70. · 4.24 Impact Factor