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Detection and exclusion of interatrial shunts by two-dimensional echocardiography and peripheral venous injection.

Originally publishedhttps://doi.org/10.1161/01.CIR.59.2.379Circulation. 1979;59:379–384

    Two-dimensional echocardiography (2-D echo) was used with peripherally injected contrast material to detect interatrial shunts in 33 patients. Group 1 consisted of 11 patients having classic clinical findings of atrial septal defect. Group 2 consisted of 12 patients with problems requiring that atrial shunting be excluded. Group 3 (control group) consisted of 10 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization for chest pain. Confirmation of the 2-D echo findings was provided by cardiac catheterization in 32 patients and postmortem examination in one. Right-to-left atrial shunts were detected in all 11 patients in group 1, although seven had no right-to-left shunt calculable by oximetry. Four patients in Group 2 had right-to-left atrial shunts. None of the patients in Group 3 had atrial shunts. In the 15 patients with atrial shunts, the degree of right-to-left shunting could be qualitatively assessed as small, moderate, or large. There were no false-negative or false-positive results by contrast 2-D echo.

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