Echocardiographic detection of intracardiac right-to-left shunts following peripheral vein injections.
A contrast echocardiographic technique using peripheral vein injections for the detection and localization of intracardiac right-to-left shunting is described. Fifty children underwent cardiac catheterization and peripheral contrast echocardiographic studies. The site, degree, and direction of shunting were established at catheterization by oximetry, indicator dilution analysis and/or angiography. Peripheral vein injections were performed from the right antecubital vein or the right saphenous vein. Right-to-left shunts were documented at catheterization in 27/50 patients; contrast echocardiographic studies indicated the presence and level of shunting in all 27 patients. The contrast echocardiographic technique using peripheral vein injections detects and localizes right-to-left intracardiac shunting. It is a safe and sensitive method to evaluate systemic desaturation in ambulatory and postoperative patients.
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