Purpose: To present a case of massive retroperitoneal hemorrhage during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) which was detected using transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Clinical feature: A 50-yr-old man suffering from severe mitral regurgitation (MR) was admitted for mitral valvuloplasty. After the beginning of CPB, the volume in the reservoir was noticed to be gradually decreasing. Although venous cannulation had been properly performed, TEE showed an echo free space around the liver, the spleen and in front of the abdominal aorta showed intraabdominal hemorrhage. After cardiac surgery, emergency laparotomy revealed about 5,000 ml of blood in the retroperitoneal space probably as a result of femoral artery cannulation prior to CPB. Hemostasis was achieved, and the patient made complete cardiac and neurological recovery. Retrospective review of the TEE imaging revealed that the kidneys were surrounded by blood bilaterally confirming the diagnosis of retroperitoneal hemorrhage. Conclusion: Retroperitoneal hemorrhage during CPB is rare but may be lethal. Transesophageal echocardiography is a useful monitor not only to evaluate cardiac performance, but also to detect unexpected intraabdominal bleeding during cardiac surgery.
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