Contrast Echocardiography in the Cardiac Care Unit
Suboptimal echocardiograms are common in critically ill patients. The obstacles that interfere with optimal echocardiographic imaging in cardiac care unit patients include suboptimal positioning, obesity, hyperinflated lungs due to mechanical ventilation, lung disease, subcutaneous emphysema, surgical incisions, chest tubes, bandages, and crowded quarters. It is well known that use of contrast in echocardiography significantly improves the image quality, but despite that, contrast echocardiography is widely underused. The current chapter outlines the basics of contrast echocardiography as it applies to critical care.
KeywordsContrast echocardiography Myocardial infarction Thrombus
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