We studied the feasibility and efficacy of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) combined with transesophageal cardioversion (TEC). Secondary aims were to study left atrial flow velocities before and 1 and 5 minutes after TEC, biochemical markers of myocardial damage, and patient tolerability. TEC after a short period of anticoagulation and exclusion of a clot with TEE was safe. TEC was well tolerated and efficacious. The use of a combined probe for TEE and TEC therefore can save time and be more effective. A custom-made probe for combined TEE plus TEC was used. TEC was performed with a step-up protocol (20 J to between 30 and 50 J) and with biphasic shocks. Presence of spontaneous echo contrast was scored. Cumulative energy needed to achieve sinus rhythm was calculated. Discomfort was scored on a scale of 0 to 10. Twenty-six patients underwent combined TEE/TEC. Sinus rhythm was achieved in 24 of 26 patients (92%) with a mean cumulative energy of 42.3 J. Sixteen of 26 patients were cardioverted with a 20-J shock, and 6 of these patients had early recurrence of atrial fibrillation. All biochemical markers were unaffected, and TEE/TEC was well tolerated. Left atrial appendage velocity decreased significantly after TEC. Thus, the use of a TEE/TEC probe offers effective cardioversion with low energy levels, is well tolerated, and hemodynamics during and immediately after cardioversion can be monitored. Early cardioversion after exclusion of a clot with this combined probe is time saving and cost effective.

doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2004.04.062, hdl.handle.net/1765/57784
The American Journal of Cardiology
Department of Cardiology

Scholten, M., Thornton, A., Jordaens, L., Roelandt, J., Kerber, R., & Kronzon, I. (2004). Usefulness of transesophageal echocardiography using a combined probe when converting atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. The American Journal of Cardiology, 94(4), 470–473. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2004.04.062