Safety of transoesophageal echocardiography during structural heart disease interventions under procedural sedation: a single-centre study

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2022 Jan 3;jeab280. doi: 10.1093/ehjci/jeab280. Online ahead of print.


Aims: The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE)-related adverse events (AEs) during structural heart disease (SHD) interventions and to identify potential risk factors.

Methods and results: We retrospectively analysed 898 consecutive patients undergoing TOE-guided SHD interventions under procedural sedation. TOE-related AEs were classified as bleeding complications, mechanical lesions, conversion to general anaesthesia with intubation, and the occurrence of pneumonia. A follow-up was conducted up to 3 months after the intervention. TOE-related AEs were observed in 5.3% of the patients (n = 48). The highest rate of AEs was observed in the percutaneous mitral valve repair (PMVR) group with 8.2% (n = 32), whereas 4.8% (n = 11) of the patients in the left atrial appendage group and 1.8% (n = 5) in the patent foramen ovale/atrial septal defect group developed a TOE-related AE (P = 0.001). The most frequent AE was pneumonia with an incidence of 2.6% (n = 26) in the total cohort. Bleeding events occurred in 1.8% (n = 16) of the patients, mostly in the PMVR group with 2.1% (n = 8). In the multivariate regression analysis, we found a lower haemoglobin {odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)]: 8.82 (0.68-0.98) P = 0.025} and an obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) [OR (95% CI): 2.51 (1.08-5.84) P = 0.033] to be associated with AE. Furthermore, AEs were related to procedural time [OR (95% CI): 1.01 (1.0-1.01) P = 0.056] and oral anticoagulation [OR (95% CI): 1.97 (0.9-4.3) P = 0.076] with borderline significance in the multivariate regression analysis. No persistent damages were observed.

Conclusion: TOE-related AEs during SHD interventions are clinically relevant. It was highest in patients undergoing PMVR. A lower baseline haemoglobin level and an OSAS were found to be associated with the occurrence of a TOE-related AE.

Keywords: safety; structural heart disease interventions; transoesophageal echocardiography.