Transesophageal echocardiography in the evaluation of the trauma patient: A trauma resuscitation transesophageal echocardiography exam

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The point-of-care ultrasound exam has become an essential tool for hemodynamic monitoring and resuscitation in the trauma bay as well as the intensive care unit. Transthoracic ultrasound provides a dynamic assessment of cardiac function, volume status, and fluid responsiveness that offers potential advantage over traditional methods of hemodynamic monitoring. More recently, a focused transthoracic echocardiography exam was described to improve immediate resuscitation of severely injured patients in the trauma bay.

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) for trauma could expand upon the role of focused echocardiography. TEE offers improved visualization of cardiac anatomy and physiology, improved diagnostic accuracy, and real-time assessment of intraoperative resuscitation progress, particularly in the operating room. This review discusses the fundamental principles of echocardiography as well as different ultrasound modes with their respective strengths and limitations. It reviews the current literature on the use of TEE in trauma, and suggests views for a trauma resuscitation transesophageal echocardiography exam (TREE), including sample images and videos.

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