Comparative Effectiveness and Harms of Intraoperative Transesophageal Echocardiography in Noncardiac Surgery: A Systematic Review

Ashraf Fayad, Sasha Shillcutt, Massimiliano Meineri, Terrence D. Ruddy, Mohammed Toseef Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Intraoperative use of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has become commonplace in high-risk noncardiac surgeries but the balance of benefits and harms remains unclear. This systematic review investigated the comparative effectiveness and harms of intraoperative TEE in noncardiac surgery. We searched Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from 1946 to March 2017. Two reviewers independently screened the literature for eligibility. Studies were assessed for the risk of selection bias, confounding, measurement bias, and reporting bias. Three comparative and 13 noncomparative studies were included. Intraoperative TEE was employed in a total of 1912 of 3837 patients. Studies had important design limitations. Data were not amenable to quantitative synthesis due to clinical and methodological diversity. Reported incidence of TEE complications ranged from 0% to 1.7% in patients undergoing various procedures (5 studies, 540 patients). No serious adverse events were observed for mixed surgeries (2 studies, 197 patients). Changes in surgical or medical management attributable to the use of TEE were noted in 17% to 81% of patients (7 studies, 558 patients). The only randomized trial of intraoperative TEE was grossly underpowered to detect meaningful differences in 30-day postoperative outcomes. There is lack of high-quality evidence of effectiveness and harms of intraoperative TEE in the management of non-cardiac surgeries. Evidence, however, indicates timely evaluation of cardiac function and structure, and hemodynamics. Future studies should be comparative evaluating confounder-adjusted impact on both intraoperative and 30-day postoperative clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-136
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • effectiveness
  • intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography
  • noncardiac surgery
  • systematic review
  • transesophageal echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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