Bedside Identification of Massive Pulmonary Embolism with Point-of-Care Transesophageal Echocardiography.
J Emerg Med. 2017 Nov;53(5):722-725
Authors: Jelic T, Baimel M, Chenkin J
BACKGROUND: Pulmonary embolism can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in those who are hemodynamically unstable and cannot be imaged to confirm the diagnosis. Echocardiography can allow for rapid assessment of patients in shock, but requires adequate transthoracic windows to obtain clinically useful information. Emergency physician-performed transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) may be a useful tool when transthoracic echocardiography fails.
CASE REPORT: An 86-year-old woman presented to the emergency department after a fall at home. She rapidly decompensated in the emergency department and sustained a pulseless electrical activity cardiac arrest. Attempts made during the resuscitation to obtain transthoracic echocardiographic views to elicit the cause of the patient's cardiac arrest were unsuccessful. An emergency physician, with previous focused training in TEE, performed emergent TEE. The TEE examination rapidly revealed a dilated right ventricle and an empty, hyperdynamic left ventricle, suggestive of an unsuspected massive acute pulmonary embolism. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: With continued growth and utility of point-of-care ultrasound in emergency medicine, TEE provides an attractive means to assess critically ill patients that may not otherwise be assessable.
PMID: 29128035 [PubMed - in process]