Introduction

Doppler echocardiography is routinely used in some intensive care units (ICUs) ( Jardjn..,„and D.u..b.o,uig,1.9,8.6). Moreover, the introduction of transesophageal echocardiography has enabled reliable high-resolution acoustic images of cardiac morphological features, function, and hemodynamics to be obtained for mechanically ventilated patients in whom transthoracic images are frequently suboptimal ( Jardin 1995).

Echocardiographic investigation is of great interest for the critical care specialist because it allows easy, prompt, and accurate identification of most of the critical cardiac injuries that occur in ICUs and it is a non-invasive hemodynamic technique which can be repeated frequently, introducing the concept of non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring.

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