Objective: Intraoperative transesophageal
echocardiography (TEE) has evolved as an essential technique for use
during pediatric cardiac surgery; however, few studies have evaluated
the safety of TEE in children. This series reports endoscopic
examination of the esophagus following intraoperative TEE in pediatric
Methods: Fifty children undergoing
congenital heart surgery underwent flexible esophagoscopy that was
performed after completion of their heart surgery and after the removal
of the transesophageal echo probe. The patients’ ages ranged from 4
days to 10 years old, and their weight ranged from 3.0 to 39.8 kg, with
a mean weight of 12.6 kg.
Results: Thirty-two of 50
patients (64%) had abnormal results shown on esophageal examinations;
this occurred more frequently in the subset of patients weighing < 9
kg. No long-term feeding or swallowing difficulties were noted
in any of the 48 patients who survived.
Intraoperative TEE in infants and children frequently caused mild
mucosal injury. Care must be exercised in the insertion and
manipulation of the probes.