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Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE or TOE)

The transesophageal echocardiography gives us a particularly high-resolution view of the heart valves and the atria. It is even possible for smaller clots to be represented.

Transesophageal Echocardiography is always used when details or structures need to be examined particularly closely. In a TEE examination the sound waves are emitted from a point within esophagus where the transducer is in close proximity to the heart (Fig. right). Unlike a normal echocardiogram, there is no tissue (skin, ribs, muscles, air in the lungs) which can interfere with the path of the signal. This allows higher transmission frequencies to be used which can better depict smaller structures. For example, this is important when searching for blood clots in the heart, particularly in cases of cardiac arrhythmia or after a stroke, and it is also an essential procedure when an inflammation of the heart valves is indicated. With a modern 3D-TEE probe it is possible to examine cardiac valve functionality in real time which gives cardiac surgeons or cardiologists a very accurate picture.  This allows you to choose in advance the optimal method of treatment. The placement of therapy systems is thus improved.
 

Transesophageal echocardiography is performed using an endoscope-type of examination apparatus via the esophagus.

Transesophageal Echocardiography is always used when details or structures need to be examined particularly closely. In a TEE examination the sound waves are emitted from a point within esophagus where the transducer is in close proximity to the heart (Fig. right). Unlike a normal echocardiogram, there is no tissue (skin, ribs, muscles, air in the lungs) which can interfere with the path of the signal. This allows higher transmission frequencies to be used which can better depict smaller structures. For example, this is important when searching for blood clots in the heart, particularly in cases of cardiac arrhythmia or after a stroke, and it is also an essential procedure when an inflammation of the heart valves is indicated. With a modern 3D-TEE probe it is possible to examine cardiac valve functionality in real time which gives cardiac surgeons or cardiologists a very accurate picture.  This allows you to choose in advance the optimal method of treatment. The placement of therapy systems is thus improved.
(see also “interventional treatment of heart defects”). The esophagus runs directly behind the heart, reducing significantly the distance to cardiac structures compared to conventional echocardiography (TTE).
The organs and tissues located around the heart (e.g. ribs, fat and connective tissue, etc.) are bypassed which minimizes signal interference. Therefore much higher ultrasound frequencies can be applied, which increases the spatial resolution to a corresponding degree.
                  Abb.: Patrick J. Lynch

What is transesophageal echocardiography (TOE)? 

Datei:TEE-Sonde.png

Abb.: Schomynv

Transesophageal echocardiography is performed using an endoscope-type of examination apparatus via the esophagus. The esophagus runs directly behind the heart, reducing significantly the distance to cardiac structures compared to conventional echocardiography (TTE).
The organs and tissues located around the heart (e.g. ribs, fat and connective tissue, etc.) are bypassed which minimizes signal interference. Therefore much higher ultrasound frequencies can be applied, which increases the spatial resolution to a corresponding degree.
 

When is a TOE examination necessary?

Many heart diseases can be adequately diagnosed externally using the TOE examination. Other diseases and symptoms, such as deposits on heart valves, for example, which develop with endocarditis (heart valve infection), blood clots in the heart (thrombotic deposits) or leaks of heart valves, can be more accurately and safely assessed by means of a TOE. A TOE examination is usually applied when examining artificial heart valves, to control interventions (e.g. occluder implantation) or after a stroke.

How is the TEE examination performed at IHC?

before your appointment (Tel. 089-149903 6000).  We will then inform you concerning details about the examination process (location, registration, etc.). Please arrive at IHC no later than 8:00 am on an empty stomach, this means you must not eat anything at least 4 hours before the examination. If not advised otherwise by your doctor, you may take your medications with a sip of water in the morning. If your examination is scheduled in the afternoon (usually between 1:00 to 2:30 PM), you may have a light breakfast. We will explain exactly the examination process and answer any questions you may have. 
 
A staff member from patient management will accompany you to the examination room. If you have requested a sedative, or require an injection of an ultrasound contrast agent, a catheter will then be inserted into a vein in your arm.
The actual examination takes place in a quiet area equipped with comfortable chairs and offers privacy.
 
 
 
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