The authors sought to assess for the presence of practice variation in the use of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) for open cardiac valve surgery.
This study was a retrospective cohort analysis.
The administrative claims data used for this investigation were multi-institutional and a representative sample of commercially insured patients in the United States between 2010 and 2015.
The cohort consisted of adult patients, aged 18 years or older, undergoing open mitral valve (MV) or aortic valve (AV) surgery.
This was an observational analysis without interventions.
Measurements and Main Results
Of 19,386 valve surgeries, 12,313 (64%) underwent AV replacement, 6,192 (32%) underwent MV repair or replacement, and 881 (<5%) underwent both MV and AV surgery. The overall rate of intraoperative TEE was 82% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 81%-82%), less frequently observed in AV procedures compared to MV or combined MV-AV procedures (80% v 85%, p < 0.001). Rates of intraoperative TEE claims varied markedly across U.S. states. After adjustment, the relative odds of an intraoperative TEE claim ranged across states from 0.26 (Louisiana, 95% CI: 0.18-0.36; p < 0.001) to 2.10 (North Carolina, 95% CI: 1.57-2.82; p < 0.001).
Among adult patients undergoing open AV or MV surgery in the United States, 82% had a claim for an intraoperative TEE with marked variability across U.S. states. Increasing adherence to intraoperative TEE guidelines for valve surgery may represent an unrecognized opportunity to improve the quality of cardiac surgical care.