Prospective evaluation of complications associated with transesophageal echocardiography in dogs with congenital heart disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is useful in the assessment and procedural monitoring of congenital heart disease (CHD) with a relatively low complication rate in humans. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the safety of TEE and report complications in dogs. ANIMALS: Forty client-owned dogs with CHD. METHODS: Prospective observational study including gastroesophagoscopy before and after TEE imaging. TEE was planned with a GE 6VT-D adult probe in dogs weighing 4kg and a GE 10T-D microprobe alternating with an intracardiac echocardiography probe placed in the esophagus in dogs <4kg. Difficulties with probe placement, probe interference and TEE probe imaging times were recorded. Dogs were monitored in the recovery period after TEE using an established nausea scoring system. RESULTS: New gastroesophageal abnormalities were identified after TEE in 4 dogs including 4 areas of mucosal damage involving <25% of the lower esophageal sphincter (n=4) and 1 lesion at the heart base (n=1) and were not attributed to longer imaging times or a specific probe. Lesions identified before TEE in 4 dogs remained unchanged after TEE. The 6VT-D probe could not be placed in 1 dog with enlarged tonsils, and it obstructed fluoroscopic views in 3 dogs. The probes did not compress any structures in dogs in which fluoroscopy was performed (n=20). Four dogs had evidence to suggest nausea after the procedure. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: While major complications remain possible, complications in this study were mild and few in number. Dog size and probe characteristics are factors to consider when performing TEE.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Intern Med

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Stoner, C. H., Saunders, A. B., Heseltine, J. C., Cook, A. K., & Lidbury, J. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Stoner, Caitlin H||Saunders, Ashley B||Heseltine, Johanna C||Cook, Audrey K||Lidbury, Jonathan A

publication date

  • January 2022