Transesophageal ultrasonography during orthotopic liver transplantation: Show me more

Luigi Vetrugno, Federico Barnariol, Elena Bignami, Grazia D Centonze, Adelisa De Flaviis, Federico Piccioni, Elisabetta Auci, Tiziana Bove

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The first perioperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) guidelines published 21 years ago were mainly addressed to cardiac anesthesiologists. TEE has since expanded its role outside this setting and currently represents an invaluable tool to assess chamber sizes, ventricular hypertrophy, and systolic, diastolic, and valvular function in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Right-sided microemboli, right ventricular dysfunction, and patent foramen ovale (PFO) are the most common intra-operative findings described during OLT. However, left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and left ventricular ballooning syndrome are more difficult to recognize and less frequent. Transesophageal ultrasonography (TEU) during OLT is also underused. Its applications are as follows: (1) assistance in the difficult placement of pulmonary arterial catheters; (2) help with catheterization of great vessels for external veno-venous bypass placement; (3) intra-operative evaluation of surgical liver anastomosis patency, if feasible, through the liver window; and (4) intra-operative investigation of "acute hypoxemia" due to pulmonary and cardiac issues using trans-esophageal lung ultrasound (TELU). The aims of this review are as follows: (1) to summarize the uses of TEE and TEU throughout all phases of OLT, and (2) to describe other new feasible applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1204-1215
Number of pages12
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal/methods
  • Heart Diseases/complications
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases/complications
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative/methods


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