Quality assurance for intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography monitoring: A report of 846 procedures

T. Rafferty, K. R. LaMantia, E. Davis, D. Phillips, S. Harris, J. Carter, M. Ezekowitz, G. McCloskey, H. Godek, P. Kraker, D. Jaeger, C. Kopriva, P. Barash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We evaluated our experience with 846 consecutive transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) intraoperative monitoring procedures performed between November 1989 and July 1991. TEE frequency was 36 ± 11 per month (range 16- 55) and represented 69.8% of cardiac valve surgery cases, 40.2% of coronary artery bypass graft cases, and 2.2% of total operative caseload. Major patient complications consisted of transient vocal cord paresis and ingestion of glutaraldehyde-disinfectant solution. Minor complications consisted of a chipped tooth (one case) and pharyngeal abrasions (three cases). The Quality Assurance (Q/A) Program evaluated both record keeping and quality of imaging, as judged by cardiologist echocardiographer reviewers. The percentage of completion for each Q/A indicator was as follows: medical record documentation, 88%; database form annotation, 94%; and provision of videotape recording, 91%. TEE database forms were analyzed further in terms of the percentage of fields completed. Completion scores were 73%. The following scoring system was utilized for videotape evaluation by the cardiologists: 1 = excellent; 2 = good; 3 = poor. The median grade for both two-dimensional echocardiography and color flow Doppler (CFD) examinations was 2. Poor quality images (grade 3) were present in 15.2% of two-dimensional echocardiography and 20.3% of color flow Doppler examinations, and disproportionately associated with 4/26 attendings. Supplemental audit of the cardiology reviewers performance demonstrated 569/846 videotapes showed no objective evidence of review. The cardiology reviewer forms of the remaining 277 videotapes were evaluated in terms of the percentage of fields completed. The completion score was 56%. These data suggest the need for formal Q/A for intraoperative TEE, both for anesthesiologists and reviewing cardiologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-232
Number of pages5
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Quality assurance for intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography monitoring: A report of 846 procedures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this