The utility of contrast echocardiographic techniques in the care of critically ill infants with cardiac and pulmonary disease.
In order to assess the utility of contrast M-mode echocardiography in an intensive care nursery population of critically ill newborns with cardiac and pulmonary disease and to validate contrast echo methods, we performed 200 serial contrast echoes on 40 infants via umbilical arterial or venous catheters which had been placed into these infants for clinical indications. The resulting contrast echoes recorded from the precordium or the suprasternal notch allowed the delineation of intra- and extracardiac right-to-left and left-to-right shunting patterns. Patterns identified and validated by cardiac catheterization (in cardiac patients) were: right-to-left atrial shunts, right-to-left ventricular shunts, and left-to-right patent ductus arteriosus shunts. The studies were without complication. Serial application of these echocardiographic techniques was extremely important in assessing changing physiology in these neonates. Contrast echocardiography adds physiologic flow information to the anatomical information available from M-mode echoes and is quite important in the diagnosis and sometimes in the management of critically ill newborns.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association