Safety and complications of transesophageal echocardiography in children with congenital heart disease

Mary J. Rice, Robert W. McDonald, Takahiro Shiota, Stephen T. Robinson, David J. Sahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) has been shown to be an excellent diagnostic tool, however very little is known about the safety and complications seen in these patients (pts). From 8/92 to 12/96, 400 TEE were performed in pts with CHD. Age range from 1 day to 18 years (mean 3.4), weight 2.1 - 88.6 kg (mean 14.8). TEE studies were performed using a wide variety of pediatric and adult probes (4 mm -17 mm in size), and in different clinical settings (Table). Age*N OR Cath Echo ICU Neonates : ≤ 1 month 39 36 2 0 1 Infants: ≤ 1 year 167 158 5 1 3 Children: ≤ 12 years 163 147 8 6 2 Adolescents: ≤ 18 years 31 23 2 4 2 Total 400 364 17 11 8*N = number, OR = operating room, Cath = catheterization lab, echo = echocardiography lab, ICU = intensive care units. Safety: Insertion of the TEE probe was successful in all 400 pts. General anesthesia was used in 387 pts (96.7%) and heavy sedation in 13 pts (3.3%). Complications: Complications were encountered in 18/399 pts (4.5%), all occurred in OR. In 14 pts (82.3%), the TEE probes were successfully placed and used before bypass but had to be removed prematurely after bypass for ventilatory problems (7 of these pts had Down syndrome); in 3 pts, the TEE probe movement displaced the endotrachael tubes and the probes were withdrawn. There was 1 death with TEE probe in place, however it was not related to the presence of the TEE probe. No episodes of bleeding, arrhythmias, or bacterial endocarditis were encountered. Conclusion: TEE is a safe and reliable procedure to assess pts with CHD in all clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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