Diagnosis of sinus venosus atrial septal defect with transesophageal echocardiography

Roess D. Pascoe, Jae K. Oh, Carole A. Warnes, Gordon K. Danielson, A. Jamil Tajik, James B. Seward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Background: Sinus venosus atrial septal defect (SVD) is underdiagnosed with transthoracic echocardiography because of its posterior (far field) location. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) should be ideally suited to diagnose SVD, given the proximity of the transducer to the defect. Methods and Results: A retrospective study was undertaken that used the medical history, echocardiographic findings, and surgical data of patients identified from computer records as having the diagnosis of SVD during the period in which TEE has been in use (1987 to 1995). Twenty-five patients (14 females and 11 males: median age, 45 years: range, 10 to 75 years) with SVD had TEE between 1987 and 1995. Prior transthoracic echocardiography clearly defined the SVD in 3 of these patients, and it was suspected in another 11 on the basis of color-flow imaging. Ten patients had unexplained dilatation of the right side of the heart, which prompted TEE examination. SVD was visualized with TEE in all 25 patients and ranged in size from 1 to 3 cm. Thirty-seven right-sided anomalous pulmonary venous connections were identified in 23 patients. No-left sided anomalous pulmonary venous connections were detected. Anatomic confirmation was obtained in all 23 surgical patients. No patient required preoperative cardiac catheterization for diagnosis. Conclusions: TEE is accurate for the diagnosis of SVD and should be undertaken in any patient with unexplained dilatation of the right side of the heart. The associated pulmonary venous abnormalities can be identified with TEE. Cardiac catheterization for diagnostic purposes should not be required before surgical correction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1055
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • diagnosis
  • echocardiography
  • heart defects, congenital
  • heart septal defects
  • imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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