Year : 2023  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 75-76

Point-of-care transthoracic echocardiography: An essential management tool for acute massive pulmonary thromboembolism

Department of Anesthesiology, Centro Hospitalar Tondela Viseu, Viseu, Portugal

Correspondence Address:
Pedro Cunha
Department of Anesthesia, Centro Hospitalar Tondela Viseu, Av. Rei Dom Duarte, 3504-509 Viseu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.sja_186_22

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The pulmonary thromboembolism may be a life-threatening condition. A hip fracture surgery patient aged >90 years old had a sudden post-operative episode of shock, de-saturation, and reverted cardiac arrest. A point-of-care transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) undertaken by an anesthesiologist revealed inferior vena cava dilation/flattening, right cardiac chamber dilation, and McConnell signs (right ventricular apex hyperkinesia and lateral wall hypokinesia); the ventricular septal wall was shifting to the left side, and the left ventricular chamber collapsed at the end-systole, indicating a high ejection fraction in the context of obstructive shock. As such, it revealed signs of pulmonary thromboembolism. Despite the absolute contraindication for thrombolysis and therapeutic hypocoagulation, the treatment was started immediately along with vasopressor support, which was life-saving in this patient. A summary TTE played a pivotal role in our patient's case, helping with the differential diagnosis of the cause of shock.

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