The Value of Transesophageal Echocardiography in Children With Congenital Heart Disease

Oliver Stümper, Renate Kaulitz, Nynke J. Elzenga, Nicolaas Bom, Jos R.T.C. Roelandt, John Hess, George R. Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


With the use of dedicated pediatric single-plane probes, transesophageal echocardiography was performed prospectively in 102 children to determine the potential value of this new technique in the diagnosis (40 patients) and the follow-up of congenital heart disease (29 patients) and as a monitoring technique during the perioperative period or interventional cardiac catheterization (33 patients). The findings were correlated with precordial studies (102 patients), cardiac catheterization (82 patients), epicardial ultrasound findings (18 patients), or surgical inspection (34 patients). The age at investigation ranged from 2.5 months to 14.9 years (mean age, 5.2 years); weight ranged from 3.7 to 52 kg (mean weight, 19.1 kg). Additional information was obtained in 49 patients (48.4%) and was relevant for patient management in 21 patients (20.6%). Major areas of improved diagnostic insight included the following: (1) systemic and pulmonary venous return, (2) atrial morphology, (3) atrioventricular junction abnormalities, (4) left ventricular outflow tract disease, (5) atrial baffle function, and (6) the Fontan circulation. Inherent limitations were as follows: (1) the semiinvasive character of the procedure, (2) the need for heavy sedation or general anesthesia, and (3) the limited imaging planes provided. Transesophageal echocardiography in children can provide important additional diagnostic information on a wide spectrum of congenital heart lesions. The technique would appear to be a highly valuable adjunct to the diagnostic armentarium of the pediatric cardiologist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-176
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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