January 7, 2016 — Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the Western industrialized world, and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), accounts for one of every 19 deaths in the United States each year. Over 80 percent of strokes are ischemic in nature, caused by clots and other obstructions in vessels that supply blood to the brain, and cardiac embolism accounts for approximately one-third of all cases of ischemic stroke. Echocardiography in general and transesophageal echocardiography in particular are essential for evaluation, diagnosis and management of stroke and systemic embolism. A new document, Guidelines for the Use of Echocardiography in the Evaluation of a Cardiac Source of Embolism, will appear in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE) and provides the first set of guidelines from the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) specific to this topic.
The writing group for this guideline was chaired by Muhamed Saric, M.D., Ph.D., FASE, director of echocardiography and associate professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York, New York. Saric noted, “Strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) caused by an embolism from the heart or the thoracic aorta often have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than other types of ischemic stroke, so echocardiography is extremely important in helping clinicians pinpoint the underlying reason for a stroke, and ultimately guiding treatment and prevention of future strokes. This document should serve as a tremendous resource for clinicians and hopefully will help standardize practice and improve care for stroke patients.”
The guidelines outline in detail the various cardiac sources of embolism and imaging strategies for each, in harmony with previously published ACCF/ASE/AHA/ASNC/HFSA/HRS/SCAI/SCCM/SCCT/SCMR 2011 Appropriate Use Criteria for Echocardiography, as well as a dedicated section on cardiac sources of embolism in pediatric populations. The document also contains over 40 figures, 9 tables and 43 videos, which include imaging techniques, strategies for overall evaluation, reporting recommendations and comparisons of echo modalities.
In conjunction with the publication of the guideline document, Saric will conduct a live webinar, including a question and answer section, on Feb. 1, 2016, at 5:00 pm ET which will be available for free to all ASE members and open to all other clinicians for $25.
The full guideline document is available on the JASE website. This document and all ASE Guideline documents are also available to the medical community.
For more information: www.asecho.org.guidelines