Complications of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography in adult cardiac surgical patients - experience of two institutions in Taiwan

J Formos Med Assoc. 2007 Jan;106(1):92-5. doi: 10.1016/S0929-6646(09)60223-0.


There is some safety concern about transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) when it is used routinely during cardiac operations. The purpose of this investigation was to study the incidence of intraoperative TEE-associated complications in adult cardiac surgical patients. The study population comprised 6255 consecutive adult cardiac surgical patients with intraoperative TEE examinations. TEE-associated complications occurred in 25 patients (0.4%). Most of these complications consisted of oropharyngeal mucosal bleeding (15/25, 60%). Esophageal perforation occurred in one patient. Two patients experienced upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Seven patients experienced dental injuries, and TEE probe insertion failed in 10 patients. We conclude that intraoperative TEE-associated complications in cardiac operations is very low; the complication rate we found was comparable to previously reported values.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Taiwan / epidemiology