TEE (Transesophageal Echocardiogram)
What is a TEE (Transesophagel Echocardiogram)?
A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a special type of ultrasound of the heart . It is performed by placing a probe down the esophagus – a.k.a. food pipe - in order to get better views of the back part of the heart. Since the ultrasound is done from inside the esophagus, the lungs and ribs do not get in the way, so the back part of the heart is more visible.
Who should receive a TEE?
Patients will be recommended to undergo a TEE when a standard echocardiogram is insufficient. Patients who have problems with their mitral valve such as mitral regurgitation will often have a TEE to examine the mitral valve better. Patients with atrial fibrillation will frequently have a TEE performed before a cardioversion because the TEE is the best test for assessment of whether a patient may have a clot in their heart that can cause a stroke.