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The diagnostic value of transesophageal echocardiography in the detection of cardiac and extracardiac masses

The diagnostic value of transesophageal echocardiography in the detection of cardiac and extracardiac masses

Zeitschrift fuer Kardiologie 75(2): 91-98

The diagnostic value of transoesophageal echocardiography in the detection of cardiac and extracardiac masses has not yet been properly established. We therefore studied 23 patients (7 males, 16 females, mean age 54.7 years) using transoesophageal echocardiography in addition to conventional transthoracic echocardiography. Nine patients had an atrial thrombus, 6 an atrial myxoma and 8 extracardiac masses. The studies were performed without complications. Transthoracic as well as transoesophageal echocardiographic detection of atrial thrombus or myxoma (n = 15) was successful in all patients except 1 with a thrombus in the left atrial appendix, which could only be visualized by transoesophageal echocardiography. In contrast, accurate diagnosis of extracardiac masses could be established only by transoesophageal echocardiography in 5 of 8 patients (62.5%). In all 23 patients the judgement of the mobility of the tumor, as well as its acoustic properties and wall adherence was markedly facilitated by transoesophageal echocardiography. Thus, this method is a useful diagnostic tool for detection of extracardiac masses, whereas in patients with atrial thrombus or myxoma it can give important additional information.

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