Contrast-enhanced echocardiography is used in addition to transesophageal echocardiography. A line is placed in the patient in a peripheral vein of the arm, saline solution mixed with a little air is injected to achieve the formation of reflective microbubbles that will flow through the circulatory system.
This test is performed to study specific diseases such as communications within the heart (patent foramen ovale, which is an opening in the wall of the interatrial septum of the heart cavity that allows blood to pass from the right atrium to the left atrium), or when there is suspicion of communications between veins and arteries.
This type of contrast does not contain iodine or drugs and the microbubbles quickly disappear from the blood in a few minutes.
Severe esophageal pathology such as:
- esophageal strictures.
- esophageal diverticula.
- esophageal tumors
- Esophageal varices with active or recent bleeding.
- Recent gastroesophageal surgery.
- History of mediastinal radiotherapy.
- Severe involvement of the atlantoaxial joint that prevents neck flexion.
The temporary side effects that may occur after the procedure is performed are:
- You may have small lesions in the mouth or esophagus. This does not normally require treatment.
- Vomiting reflex or increased flow of saliva are natural reactions of the body to the presence of a foreign body in the oral cavity and pharynx.
- The back of the throat may be tender and cause discomfort when swallowing. This discomfort should pass shortly after the exam.
- If contrast dye was applied during the test, there is a small risk of bruising at the puncture site and an allergic reaction to the contrast dye.