Guarracino F, Bertini P.: Curr Opin Crit Care. 2014 Aug;20(4):431-7.

Purpose of review: This review analyses the application of perioperative echocardiography as an important tool in the management of haemodynamic impairment.

Recent findings: Recently, echocardiography has demonstrated utility in preoperative assessment for both cardiac and noncardiac surgery. There is also evidence that, using diagnostic methods, echocardiography could be used as an image-based technique comparable with standard catheter-based monitoring techniques in high-risk patients. Echocardiography can be performed both intraoperatively and during the postoperative period in the ICU and is therefore being considered a potential tool to assess haemodynamic instability.

Summary: Echocardiography has recently gained popularity among anaesthesiologists and intensive care practitioners because it provides a pathophysiological picture of haemodynamic impairment, allowing a more detailed understanding of the static or dynamic parameters on which clinicians usually rely when making decisions.

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