The Role of Echocardiography in Diagnosing & Treating Ebstein's Anomaly

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“Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare cardiac anomaly that occurs in approximately one in 20,000 live births and accounts for less than 1% of all congenital heart disease (Ebstein’s anomaly in adults)”. The goal of this paper is to examine Ebstein’s Anomaly - to understand what it is, how it affects the heart, possible presenting symptoms, and other possible complications associated with this anomaly. Diagnosis of this anomaly is key in treating patients, thus echocardiographic as well as other test modalities are vital in assessing what the treatment options are available, as well as discerning what the prognosis may be. Advancing test modalities have helped distinguish Ebstein’s Anomaly with other differential diagnoses. Developments with …show more content…
Background In 1866 Wilham Ebstein first described the cardiac defects associated with Ebsteins’s Anomaly. Ebstein was a doctor born in Prussia in 1836 who received his medical degree from Berlin in 1859. A 19-year-old patient who presented with shortness of breath and palpitations was not able to withstand his insufficient tricuspid valve. Wilham’s autopsy of the young man indicated “an enlarged and fenestrated anterior tricuspid leaflet; the posterior and septal leaflets were hypoplastic, thickened and adherent to the right ventricle, an enlarged right atrium, and a patent foramen ovale” (Swiss Medical Weekly, 2005). Although Ebstein portrayed the first case it was not until 1927 that Alfred Arnstein suggested the name Ebstein’s Anomaly for these defects. Ten years later in 1937 Yates and Sharpiro confirmed a case of Ebstein’s Anomaly with radiographic and electrocardiographic data (Riaz, 2013). In the past this anomaly was typically diagnosed during an autopsy, now echocardiography is the standard for diagnosis. Once patients could be diagnosed with Ebstein’s while they were still alive, a group of symptoms was eventually composed.
Although minor cases of Ebstein’s Anomaly may not present with any obvious symptoms in youth, once in adulthood the symptoms usually