Evangelista A.,Hospital Universitari Vall dHebron |
Avegliano G.,Hospital Universitari Vall dHebron |
Aguilar R.,Hospital Universitari Vall dHebron |
Cuellar H.,Hospital Vall dHebron |
And 5 more authors.
European Heart Journal | Year: 2010
AimsTo determine the usefulness of contrast echocardiography in the diagnosis of aortic dissection (AD) and in the assessment of findings necessary for adequate patient management.Methods and resultsConventional and contrast-enhanced transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) were performed in 128 consecutive patients with clinically suspected acute AD. Results were validated independently against intraoperative findings in 45 patients and computed tomography information in 83. Sensitivity and specificity of conventional TTE increased after contrast enhancement from 73.7 to 86.8 (P< 0.005) and 71.2 to 90.4 (P < 0.05), respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of enhanced TTE were similar to conventional TOE in ascending aorta (93.3 vs. 95.6 and 97.6 vs. 96.4, respectively) and in the arch (88.4 vs. 93.0 and 95.3 vs. 98.82, respectively). Contrast-enhanced TOE permitted the location of non-visualized entry tear in seven cases (10.6), helped to correctly identify the true lumen in six (9.1), and diagnosed retrograde dissection in nine (13.6).ConclusionContrast enhancement substantially improves TTE in the diagnosis of AD and should be considered as the initial imaging modality in the emergency setting. Contrast enhancement also has significant value for obtaining critical morphological and haemokinetic information by TOE useful for adequate patient management.