Objective: To determine the impact of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (IOTEE), an important adjunct in many types of cardiac surgical cases, on the surgical decisions made perioperatively in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Patients and Methods: All adult patients who had cardiac surgery between 1993 and 1997 and who also had IOTEE were studied. New findings before and after cardiopulmonary bypass and alterations in the planned surgical procedure or management were documented prospectively. Results: A total of 3245 patients (60% men, 40% women; aged 18-93 years with a mean ± SD age of 62±15 years) were included in the study. The most common operations performed were mitral valve repair (26%) and aortic valve replacement (22%). Over the 5-year period, 41% of patients had IOTEE. New information was found before bypass in 15% of patients, directly affecting surgery in 14% of the patients. The most common new prebypass information found was patent foramen ovale resulting in closure in the majority of patients. New information was found after bypass in 6% of the patients, resulting in a change in surgery or hemodynamic management in 4% of the total. The most common postbypass finding was valvular dysfunction with repeat bypass in most patients for re-repair or replacement. No major complications occurred. Conclusion: In adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery, IOTEE provides important information both before and after bypass that affects surgical and hemodynamic management.
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