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Transoesophageal echocardiography and the intraoperative diagnosis of left atrial invasion by carcinoid tumour


A 41-yr-old woman with pulmonary carcinoid tumour presented for thoracotomy and lung resection. However, intraoperative transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) revealed that the tumour had invaded the left atrium, and the planned resection was aborted to allow resection under cardiopulmonary byass at a later date. Although the incidence of cardiac involvement by lung cancer at the lime of pulmonary resection is unknown, transoesophageal echocardiography can be useful in identifying the extension of hilar lung tumours. This should preferentially be done preoperatively, but can be done intraoperatively as described in this case report.


Une patiente de 41 ans souffrant d’une tumeur cardinoïde pulmonaire se présente pour thoracotomie et résection pulmonaire. Toutefois, l’échocardiographie transoesophagienne peropératoire montre que la tumeur envahit l’oreillette gauche et la résection programmée est retardée pour permettre d’effectuer la résection sous circulation extracorporelle à une date ultérieure. Bien que l’incidence de l’atteinte cardiaque au moment d’une résection pulmonaire soit inconnue, l’échocardiographie transoesophagienne peut devenir utile pour identifier l’extension hilaire des tumeurs pulmonaires. Elle est préférable avant l’intervention, mais on peut la réaliser pendant l’opération, comme c’est le cas ici.


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Correspondence to Steven M. Neustein.

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Neustein, S.M., Cohen, E., Reich, D. et al. Transoesophageal echocardiography and the intraoperative diagnosis of left atrial invasion by carcinoid tumour. Can J Anaesth 40, 664–666 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03009703

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Key words

  • measurement techniques: echocardiography
  • surgery: cardiovascular, thoracic