TEE is frequently used in cardio thoracic interventions to identify risk factors such as aortic atherosclerosis before any manipulation involving the aorta and its related structures. TEE has become an important non-invasive tool to diagnose acute thoracic aortic pathologies.
‘Blind spot’ of TEE
Due to the position of the air-filled trachea, between the thoracic aorta and the TEE-probe, visualization of the Distal Ascending Aorta and (DAA) and Arch is limited. The DAA is the part where cannulation and cross clamping takes place and where atherosclerotic plaques are most prevalent as a source of embolisms known to be a cause of stroke.
A-View modified TEE
A-View balloon catheter is inserted through the endotracheal tube. Filling the balloon with saline, eliminates the air in the trachea, allowing echo conduction through the trachea and visualization of the entire aortic arch and origins of the cerebral arteries. Therefore, a complete overview of the thoracic aorta and branch vessels can be achieved even before surgical incision, sternotomy or the start of any non-surgical interventions.