Transesophageal Echocardiography in Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Jul 13;78(2):112-122. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.04.064. Epub 2021 May 3.


Background: The impact of utilization of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) at the time of isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) on clinical decision making and associated outcomes is not well understood.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the association of TEE with post-CABG mortality and changes to the operative plan.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of planned isolated CABG patients from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database between January 1, 2011, and June 30, 2019, was performed. The exposure variable of interest was use of intraoperative TEE during CABG compared with no TEE. The primary outcome was operative mortality. The association of TEE with unplanned valve surgery was also assessed.

Results: Of 1,255,860 planned isolated CABG procedures across 1218 centers, 676,803 (53.9%) had intraoperative TEE. The percentage of patients receiving intraoperative TEE increased over time from 39.9% in 2011 to 62.1% in 2019 (p trend <0.0001). CABG patients undergoing intraoperative TEE had lower odds of mortality (adjusted odds ratio: 0.95; 95% confidence interval: 0.91 to 0.99; p = 0.025), with heterogeneity across STS risk groups (p interaction = 0.015). TEE was associated with increased odds of unplanned valve procedure in lieu of planned isolated CABG (adjusted odds ratio: 4.98; 95% confidence interval: 3.98 to 6.22; p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Intraoperative TEE usage during planned isolated CABG is associated with lower operative mortality, particularly in higher-risk patients, as well as greater odds of unplanned valve procedure. These findings support usage of TEE to improve outcomes for isolated CABG for high-risk patients.

Keywords: cardiac surgery; coronary artery bypass grafting; echocardiography; transesophageal echocardiography.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / mortality*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology