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Critical appraisal of transesophageal echocardiography in cardioversion of atrial fibrillation

      Abstract

      Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and an important health concern in the United States because of the increasing aging population. Cardioversion of atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm to relieve symptoms and to reduce the incidence of thromboembolism is now common practice. Recently, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)–facilitated cardioversion emerged as an acceptable therapeutic alternative owing to the assumption that early cardioversion can obviate many of the concerns and disadvantages associated with the conventional approach. We review the current standing of TEE-facilitated early cardioversion vis-à-vis the salient cardioversion issues and its potential future role amid evolving cardioversion paradigms.
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