Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

UCLA Acute Care Medicine Echocardiography Service

The UCLA Acute Care Medicine Echocardiography Service provides diagnostic and interventional imaging for the perioperative period and beyond. Building upon a core practice of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in the cardiac surgical environment, the service offers imaging and consultation in the pre- and post-operative areas, non-cardiac surgical/interventional suites, and intensive care units. State-of the art equipment is used for transesophageal and transthoracic examinations and a consultation service for stand-alone diagnostic studies is provided. Three dimensional (3-D) imaging and speckle tracking (2-D and 3-D) studies are used for comprehensive definition of cardiac anatomy and function.

Research in echocardiography is a priority for our group as new technologies are integrated into clinical practice and the role of non-invasive imaging is expanded. Several projects investigating cardiac functional assessment using speckle-tracking strain analysis in the setting of various pathologies are in progress. Collaboration with other divisions in cardiovascular medicine facilitates projects whose scope extends beyond the traditional perioperative period. Education in echocardiography is a key part of our mission and a subject of investigation as well.

Cardiothoracic Anesthesia fellows are trained in TEE with a formal lecture series, clinical teaching, weekly echo rounds, and use of a TEE simulator. Fellows are required to maintain logs of TEE exams performed and reviewed. The TEE experience and training provided will prepare fellows to take the National Board of Echocardiography Examination of Special Competence in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography (Advanced PTEeXAM®) and meet the requirements for Advanced PTEeXAM certification.

Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) services are provided for inpatient, outpatient, and perioperative settings with the support of a full-time cardiac sonographer. Training in TTE is part of resident, fellow and faculty education and incorporates use of lectures, TTE simulators, paid subjects, and clinical teaching.

A three-month program is available for physicians interested in basic or advanced echocardiography training. Inquiries should be directed to Donna Harless.