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Authors O'Rourke M, Levan P, Khan T
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Journal J. Cardiothorac. Vasc. Anesth. Volume: 28 Issue: 5 Pages: 1208-10
Publish Date 2014 Oct
PubMed ID 25027104

Ultrasound transmission gel (USTG) is used routinely to enhance the image quality during transesophageal echocardiogram examinations. Ultrasound gel is manufactured in both sterile and non-sterile preparations, and both preparations have been used during transesophageal echocardiograms in the United States. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently recommends that all transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) examinations be performed using sterile ultrasound gel. The authors sought to identify if anesthesiology departments with cardiothoracic fellowship programs follow current FDA recommendations of using sterile ultrasound gel during TEE examination.Survey.Survey of cardiothoracic fellowship directors. The majority of fellowship directors practice in academic hospitals although the practice site was not addressed in the survey.Fellowship directors volunteered to participate in the study.None.Survey responses were tallied using the website,, and 56% of respondents do not currently follow the current FDA recommendations.A majority of cardiothoracic program director respondents to the authors’ survey do not utilize single-use sterile packets of USTG for TEE examinations. While the infectious risk of USTG used for TEE examinations from multiple-use containers versus single-use sterile containers has not been established clearly, a change in practice to follow the current FDA recommendations may be advised. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System