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Echocardiography in intensive care

In the late 1980s, the Medical Intensive Care Unit of the Ambroise Paré Hospital abandoned right cardiac catheterization as a diagnostic and monitoring tool for acute circulatory and respiratory failure in intensive care.

Instead we now always use transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography in which we have acquired great expertise and experience and which we use for the diagnostic and therapeutic
management of patients presenting severe sepsis, massive pulmonary embolism, or acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Professor Antoine Vieillard-Baron and Dr Alain Beauchet, in collaboration with Professor François Jardin, have designed this website for intensivists and intensivists trained in anesthesiology who wish to start using echocardiography in intensive care or to upgrade their use of it.

By presenting real clinical cases and video clips, all recorded in our unit, this website constitutes a genuine tool for ongoing medical training. We shall discuss and present for each disease considered the most frequently used echocardiographic indices that we have defined in recent years.

Rather than describe the practicalities of performing echocardiography, which are clearly important but can only be learned at the bedside, we instead strive to describe the spirit in which echocardiography should be used in intensive care. Visitors to the site will realize that this spirit differs greatly from that of echocardiography done by a cardiologist not working in intensive care.