Objective To characterize contemporary practice patterns in the use of transesophageal echocardiography during adult liver transplantation and to identify factors preventing more frequent use. Design Online questionnaire. Setting Liver transplantation centers in the United States performing 12 or more adult liver transplants in 2011. Participants One representative from each qualifying center: The transplant anesthesiology director, a transplant anesthesiologist personally known to the authors, or the department of anesthesiology chair. Interventions Three e-mail attempts were made to solicit participation in the study between June and August 2012. Measurements and Main Results Of the 97 institutions identified, an anesthesiologist from each of 79 (81.4%) centers completed the questionnaire; 38.0% of centers reported routine use and 57.0% for special circumstances or rescue situations, yielding an overall use rate of 94.9%. This distribution was consistent regardless of operative volume, practice size, or academic affiliation. The sole factor predictive of routine transesophageal echocardiography use was an overlap between an institution's cardiac and transplant anesthesiology teams. In practices not routinely employing the technology, the most compelling reason was a sense that it was not necessary. Although 69.9% of transplant anesthesiologists reportedly were proficient in echocardiography, inadequate anesthesiologist training was also a strongly cited hindrance. Conclusions Transesophageal echocardiography during adult liver transplantation in the United States has become widely prevalent, with notable growth in its use as a routine diagnostic and monitoring modality. Almost all institutions now use the technology at least occasionally, with the participation of cardiac anesthesiologists being predictive of a center's routine use.
- clinical practice patterns
- intraoperative monitoring
- liver transplantation
- transesophageal echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine