The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of transoesophageal echocardiography monitoring during weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass after intracardiac repair in children. The left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular end-diastolic volume and left ventricle wall motion were monitored continuously by transoesophageal echocardiography in controls weaned easily from cardiopulmonary bypass (group A, n = 25), and those weaned with difficulty from cardiopulmonary bypass after mechanically assisted circulation (group B, n = 16). In group A, left ventricular ejection fraction and left ventricle wall motion were within normal range, and did not change significantly during weaning after cardiopulmonary bypass when compared with pre-bypass data. In contrast, left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular end-diastolic volume and left ventricle wall motion in group B during the first trial of weaning from bypass were significantly worsened. Hence, assisted circulation was performed until the data obtained via transoesophageal echocardiography improved with regard to maintenance of fluid balance, catecholamine dosage and assisted pump flow. All cases in group B were weaned safely from cardiopulmonary bypass despite their critical condition. In conclusion, continuous transoesophageal echocardiography monitoring may be a useful tool in children with severe heart failure for safe weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass after intracardiac repair.
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