The history of transesophageal echocardiography: the role of inspiration, innovation, and applications

  • Kazumasa OrihashiEmail author
Special Article


Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), which is commonly used for monitoring and diagnostic imaging during cardiovascular surgery, was originally developed by a strong desire to know what was taking place in the heart in the dark ages of cardiac surgery. The author was fortunate to be present in the midst of the development of TEE and have an opportunity to take a close look at the history of this innovation. Furthermore, the author believes that the history of TEE contains important lessons and tips for solving the problems we presently face in clinical practice. This article describes the history of TEE based on the reports in the early stage of development and discuss how inspiration and innovation was generated by a strong wish and passion to overcome problems. The development of TEE was based on the collaboration of colleagues in different fields, and an intense desire to convert ideas into reality.


Transesophageal echocardiography Cardiovascular anesthesia History 



The author acknowledge the permission from the Shinko Trading Company Ltd. on reprinting seven figures in the chapter written by the author himself in the book, "Past, present, and future of TEE" [34].


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Second Department of SurgeryKochi Medical SchoolNankokuJapan

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