Transthoracic Echo

Use of Echocardiography to Optimize Left Ventricular Assist Devices

There are at least five million patients with heart failure (HF) in the US, 5% of whom are considered end-stage.1 Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) in the form of ventricular assist devices (VADs) is becoming an increasingly important option for these patients. Previously reserved for rescuing patients in the throes of refractory cardiogenic shock, MCS is now a mainstay of end-stage heart failure treatment as a bridge to transplant, a bridge to recovery, and a destination therapy (DT).

Right Ventricular Myxoma Obstructing the Outflow Tract

Primary tumors of the heart are rare, with an incidence of 0.0017–0.19% in unselected autopsy series.1 Three-quarters of primary heart tumors are benign. Approximately half of all cardiac tumors are myxomas, which occur in 0.5 in a million people each year.2 Although these tumors are histologically benign, they are potentially fatal because of the associated risk of embolization and intracardiac obstruction.

Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a supraventricular arrhythmia characterized by poorly coordinated atrial activation and associated with reduced atrial mechanical function. Over the long term, it is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure and mortality. AF can occur in the absence of overt structural heart disease in up to 30% of patients; however, hypertension, coronary artery disease (CAD), valvular heart disease, and congestive heart failure (CHF) are common associated conditions.