Transesophageal Echo Basics
Transesophageal echo or echocardiography is shortly known as TEE. This a procedure to to get echocardiography via esophageal route. TEE produces higher quality images from the esophagus which is in close proximity to the heart. Now a days 3-D/4-D Transesophageal echo has become a preferred imaging modality to guide various complicated heart procedures for surgical guidance during new, complex transcatheter like transcatheter aortic valve repair (TAVR), MitraClip, transcatheter mitral valve replacements (TMVR), left atrial appendage (LAA) occlusions, septal defect closures etc. Now a days it is considered as an essential tool for interventional cardiology tool.
Types of Transesophageal Echo:
M-mode echocardiography: Simple flat echo used primarily for measuring sizes, dimensions and measurements of the heart.
Doppler echocardiography : Like any other Doppler technique this type of TEE is useful in assessing blood flow through the heart’s chambers and valves and to diagnose problems related valves, chambers and malformation.
Color Doppler: Color Doppler enhances Doppler echocardiography adding the direction of flow to it. Different colors in sonogram helps in interpretation of the Doppler technique.
2-D (two-dimensional) Transesophageal Echo: 2-D Transesophageal Echo view shows the real-time motion of the heart’s structures. Thus it helps to see the various heart structures during mobility and ease the way to valuate them. However the image is flat type. But it sends and receives ultrasound waves in just one plane.
3-D (three-dimensional) echocardiography: This technique combines visualization of blood flow, mobility of valves and chambers in depth. Thus This produces an in depth surgeons view. However, the views are not live, means real time view is not here.
4-D (four-dimensional) Transesophageal echo : 4D TEE allows to add live streaming video of the images, showing the motion of the heart chamber or valves and blood flow in various vessels. It is actually a mixture of both 2D and 3D type of transducers.