Usefulness of contrast-enhanced transoesophageal echocardiography to guide thoracic endovascular aortic repair procedure

Eustachio Agricola, Massimo Slavich, Enrico Rinaldi, Luca Bertoglio, Efrem Civilini, Germano Melissano, Enrico Maria Marone, Andrea Fisicaro, C. Marini, Vincenzo Tufaro, Alberto Cappelletti, Alberto Margonato, Roberto Chiesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is commonly considered as a valid alternative to surgery. Endoleaks occurrence is one of the principal limitations of TEVAR. Transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is often adopted in adjunct to fluoroscopy and angiography (ANGIO) during stent-graft implantation. In the present study, we compare intraprocedural ANGIO, TEE, and contrast-enhanced TEE (cTEE), and we also evaluate their accuracy in early endoleaks detection and characterization. Methods and results Fifty-four patients with thoracic aortic disease suitable for TEVAR were prospectively enrolled in the study. After stent placement, the result of the procedure was assessed by ANGIO, TEE, and cTEE. The use of contrast (Sonovue, Bracco) significantly improved TEE quality (P = 0.0001). cTEE was superior in entry tears, false and true lumen and aneurysm thrombosis identification, and microtears and ulcer-like projections detection before stent deployment. After stent deployment, cTEE was more accurate than TEE and ANGIO in the detection of slow flow in the false lumen and in the aneurismal sac (P = 0.0001), and in the remaining flow identification (P = 0.0001). Notably, cTEE is more accurate in the endoleaks detection (P = 0.0001) and in the incomplete stent expansion diagnosis and need for a further balloon inflation (P 0.002), or a further stent implantation (P 0.006), compared with TEE and ANGIO. Conclusion TEVAR procedures are improved by the complimentary use of contrast fluoroscopy, multiplane TEE with Doppler flow interrogation, and cTEE. This triple imaging approach provides additional information in all phases of the procedure improving safety of stent-grafting and the procedural outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Aortic disease
  • Contrast echocardiography
  • Transoesophageal echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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