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Transesophageal Echocardiography in the Diagnosis of Diseases of the Thoracic Aorta*: Part II—Atherosclerotic and Traumatic Diseases of the Aorta

Howard J. Willens, MD; Kenneth M. Kessler, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Medicine, Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, FL, and the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL.

Correspondence to: Howard J. Willens, MD, 4925 Sheridan St, Suite 200, Hollywood, FL 33021



Chest. 2000;117(1):233-243. doi:10.1378/chest.117.1.233
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Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has provided an accurate new window for the evaluation of diseases of the thoracic aorta. Experience with TEE has led to an increased recognition of atherosclerosis of the thoracic aorta as a source of cerebral and systemic embolism. Certain features of aortic plaque morphology detected by TEE may prove to have prognostic and therapeutic significance. The intraoperative assessment of thoracic aortic atherosclerosis by TEE may guide modifications in surgical techniques and aortic manipulations that reduce the incidence of perioperative neurologic complications. TEE has also become a valuable tool for the diagnostic evaluation of patients with blunt chest trauma. The precise role of TEE in the management of these disorders is currently under investigation.

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