What is the role of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in the workup of thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA)?

Updated: Apr 02, 2021
  • Author: Elaine Tseng, MD; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) demonstrates the aortic valve and proximal aortic root. It may help detect aortic insufficiency and aneurysms of the sinus of Valsalva, but it is less sensitive and specific than transesophageal echocardiography (TEE).

TEE images show the aortic valve, ascending aorta, and descending thoracic aorta, but they are limited in the area of the distal ascending aorta, transverse aortic arch, and upper abdominal aorta. TEE can help accurately differentiate aneurysm and dissection, but the images must be obtained and interpreted by skilled personnel.

Ischemia may be evaluated using dipyridamole-thallium or dobutamine echocardiography scans.

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