Assess the clinical applicability of transthoracic echocardiography in laparotomy patients in a general intensive care unit

Saeed Abbasi, Kamran Fazel, Mortaza Abdar, Parviz Kashefi, Samaneh Alami Harandi


Background: Echocardiography is one of the diagnostic tools that can be applied at the bedside, along with avoiding transporting critically ill patients. This prospective observational study was designed to assess the clinical applicability of the transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) device by noncardiologist intensivists. Materials and Methods: Intensivists performed a limited TTE examination on critically ill patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit (ICU). After initial cardiac clinical assessment in 85 critically ill adult patients, a limited TTE was performed by an intensivist to assess left ventricular (LV) function and LV volume status as well as valvular function and qualitative factors. Data were analyzed and presented in proportions using descriptive statistics. The setting was in surgical ICU of an academic medical center. Results: Valvular abnormalities (44.8%) as well as qualitative indices (68.3%) were the most frequently detected abnormalities. The ejection fraction was the only alteration, which was affected by the risk factors (P = 0.05, mean = 55.57). Conclusion: Transthoracic approach can provide useful information on cardiac anatomy and function in most ICU patients along with detecting severe previously unknown conditions in some patients.

Key words: Echocardiography, intensive care unit, transthoracic

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