Use of Transesophageal Echocardiography for Liver Transplantation: A Global Comparison of Practice From the ILTS, SATA, and LICAGE

Transplantation. 2024 Jul 1;108(7):1570-1583. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000004943. Epub 2024 Feb 22.


Background: Anesthesiologists frequently use intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to aid in the diagnosis and management of hemodynamic problems during liver transplantation (LT). Although the use of TEE in US centers continues to increase, data regarding international use are lacking.

Methods: This prospective, global, survey-based study evaluates international experience with TEE for LT. Responses from 252 LT (105 US and 147 non-US) centers representing 1789 anesthesiologists were analyzed.

Results: Routine use of TEE in the United States has increased in the last 5 y (from 37% to 47%), but only 21% of non-US LT anesthesiologists use TEE routinely. Lack of training (44% US versus 70% non-US) and equipment (9% non-US versus 34% US) were cited as obstacles. Most survey participants preferred not to perform a complete cardiac examination but rather use only 6 of 11 basic views. Although non-US LT anesthesiologists more frequently had additional clinical training than their US counterparts, they had less TEE experience (13% versus 44%) and less frequently, TEE certification (22% versus 35%). Most LT anesthesiologists agreed that TEE certification is essential for proficiency. Of all respondents, 89% agreed or strongly agreed that TEE provides valuable information needed for immediate clinical decision-making, and >86% agreed or strongly agreed that that information could not be derived from other sources.

Conclusions: The use of TEE for LT surgery in the US LT centers is currently higher compared with non-US LT centers. This may become a standard monitoring modality during LT in the near future.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Anesthesiology / education
  • Certification
  • Clinical Competence
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal* / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / methods
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'* / trends
  • Prospective Studies

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