Current use of ultrasound transmission gel for transesophageal echocardiogram examinations: a survey of cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship directors Journal Article


Authors: O'Rourke, M.; LeVan, P; Khan, T
Article Title: Current use of ultrasound transmission gel for transesophageal echocardiogram examinations: a survey of cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship directors
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Ultrasound transmission gel (USTG) is used routinely to enhance the image quality during transesophageal echocardiogram examinations. Ultrasound gel is manufactured in both sterile and non-sterile preparations, and both preparations have been used during transesophageal echocardiograms in the United States. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently recommends that all transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) examinations be performed using sterile ultrasound gel. The authors sought to identify if anesthesiology departments with cardiothoracic fellowship programs follow current FDA recommendations of using sterile ultrasound gel during TEE examination. DESIGN: Survey. SETTING: Survey of cardiothoracic fellowship directors. The majority of fellowship directors practice in academic hospitals although the practice site was not addressed in the survey. PARTICIPANTS: Fellowship directors volunteered to participate in the study. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Survey responses were tallied using the website, www.surveymonkey.com, and 56% of respondents do not currently follow the current FDA recommendations. CONCLUSIONS: A majority of cardiothoracic program director respondents to the authors' survey do not utilize single-use sterile packets of USTG for TEE examinations. While the infectious risk of USTG used for TEE examinations from multiple-use containers versus single-use sterile containers has not been established clearly, a change in practice to follow the current FDA recommendations may be advised.
Keywords: Infection; Safety; echocardiogram; gel; transesophageal; ultrasound
Journal Title: Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia
Volume: 28
Issue: 5
ISSN: 1532-8422; 1053-0770
Publisher: Elsevier Inc  
Journal Place: United States
Date Published: 2014
Start Page: 1208
End Page: 1210
Language: eng
DOI/URL:
Notes: CI: Copyright (c) 2014; JID: 9110208; OTO: NOTNLM; 2013/12/17 [received]; 2014/07/11 [aheadofprint]; ppublish