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Which of the following modalities is the MOST sensitive in detecting venous air embolism (VAE)?

a) Pulse oximetry

b) Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)

c) Precordial Doppler

d) Swan Ganz (PA) Catheter

e) End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide

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Answer b.

TEE is the most sensitive monitor to detect venous air embolism (VAE), but is an invasive monitor that requires considerable expertise to interpret. The precordial Doppler is believed to be the most sensitive noninvasive monitor used to detect VAE. End-tidal nitrogen monitoring has also been used to detect VAE.


This question originally printed in the Pediatric Anesthesiology Review Topics kindle book series, and appears courtesy of Naerthwyn Press, LLC.


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