Right atrial compression in postoperative cardiac patients: detection by transesophageal echocardiography.
Four patients developed hypotension after heart surgery. Hemodynamic measurements revealed elevated right atrial pressure with normal pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. Conventional transthoracic two-dimensional echocardiography was technically suboptimal for detection of pericardial effusion. In each patient transesophageal echocardiography demonstrated significant compression of the right atrium by a localized mass. At reoperation atrial compression by an organized hematoma was found and in each instance successfully drained. Thus, transesophageal echocardiography is superior to transthoracic echocardiography in evaluating critically ill postoperative hypotensive patients and can differentiate isolated right atrial tamponade from other causes of hemodynamic deterioration such as prosthetic valve dysfunction or left ventricular systolic dysfunction, or both.
Published In/Presented At
Kochar, G. S., Jacobs, L. E., & Kotler, M. N. (1990). Right atrial compression in postoperative cardiac patients: detection by transesophageal echocardiography. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 16(2), 511–516. https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-1097(90)90613-t
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division