Mark A Chaney1, Mohammed M Minhaj1, Komal Patel2, David Muzic3
1 Division of Cardiac Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, University of Chicago, USA
2 Division of Cardiac Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesiology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
3 Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village, IL, USA
We investigated the potential utility of transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) in facilitating central venous catheter (CVC) insertion in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Thirty five patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery and CVC insertion were prospectively included in the observational, single-centre clinical investigation. Following induction of general anaesthesia and tracheal intubation, the TOE probe was inserted and the bicaval view obtained prior to CVC insertion (site at discretion of the anaesthesiologist). Prospectively collected data included site and sequence of CVC insertion attempts, information regarding ease of guidewire insertion, whether or not guidewire was visualized via TOE, and other pertinent information. In 1 patient, the TOE bicaval view could not be readily obtained because of right atrial (RA) distortion. In 31 patients, the TOE bicaval view was obtained and CVC access was successful at the site of first choice (guidewire visualized in all). Three patients had noteworthy CVC insertions. In one, CVC insertion was difficult despite visualization of guidewire in the RA. In another, multiple guidewire insertions met with substantial resistance and without visualization of guidewire in the RA. One patient was found to have an unanticipated large mobile superior vena cava thrombus that extended into the RA, which changed clinical management by prompting initial CVC insertion into the femoral vein (potentially avoiding morbidity associated with thrombus dislodgement). Our prospective observational clinical study indicates that routine use of TOE during CVC insertion may help avoid potential complications associated with this intervention. If both CVC insertion and TOE are going to be used in the same patient, the benefits of TOE should be maximized by routine visualization of the bicaval view during guidewire insertion.
Mark A Chaney
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 4028 Chicago, Illinois 60637.
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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