Clinical applications

Doppler echocardiography has many useful applications to diagnosis procedures and hemodynamic monitoring in the ICU.

Examples of diagnostic applications include assessment of the complications of myocardial infarction, cardiac sources of embolism, cardiac tamponade, acute disease of native or prosthetic valves, suspicion of endocarditis, massive pulmonary embolism, aortic diseases, right-to-left shunting in unexplained hypoxemia, and chest trauma. Doppler echocardiography can also be used to assess brain-dead patients as possible organ donors. This technique has been particularly useful for elucidating some of the hemodynamic consequences of mechanical ventilation, and it is an excellent method of detecting detrimental effects of excessive respiratory support.

Hemodynamic monitoring includes unexplained hypotension, hemodynamic instability, patients in shock, acute right or left ventricular dysfunctions (systolic and diastolic), and systemic and pulmonary venous return assessment in the ICU or the operating room.

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