As the immediate past chairman of the Council for Perioperative Echocardiography (COPE), I “volunteered” to write the history of the council for an upcoming edition of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE). When asked to do so at the 2013 annual meeting, I would have almost a year to complete it. I am glad I started investigating the topic early, as the story is already becoming cloudy and the written documentation of our earliest meeting minutes are on paper and are stashed away in warehouses. What exactly is history? Merriam Webster defines history as “a chronological record of significant events (as affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes.” Being from the south, I prefer a more simplistic definition of telling a tale.
The Council for Intraoperative Echocardiography (IOC) was formed in 1994. Michael Cahalan, MD was its first chairman. At the time, the ASE had 3 councils: the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography, the Council on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, and the IOC. The IOC was “established to address issues related to echocardiography in the surgical arena.”
Fast forward 4 years, when ASE President Richard E. Kerber, MD, requested that each of the 3 council chairmen present an overview of council activities in JASE . Dr. Joseph Savino did so in the September 1998 issue and would lay the ground work for the next several decades of activity within the council.
He wrote: the scope of …interest (within the IOC ) is broad and includes education, certification, quality assurance, research, and indications and contraindications for transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Currently the council is addressing 3 specific issues pertinent in the perioperative environment:
the annual Intraoperative Echocardiography Symposium…
the promotion of an educational exchange between the ASE and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA), and
the development of a standardized intraoperative TEE examination.
These were very lofty goals. It is worth looking at each of them individually and how each affected the direction of the council.
Annual Intraoperative Symposium
The symposium was designed from the beginning to be an all day session held at the ASE annual meeting. It was “not intended to be a review for the beginner, but rather a series of in depth discussions and lectures on controversial topics in intraoperative echocardiography.” Initially, lectures focused on complex individual topics with the 1999 session being a typical example. Lectures were given by Society leaders, Harry Rakowski, MD (Echocardiography of the Aortic Root), Lawrence Siegal, MD (Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery), and Pamela Sears-Rogan, MD (TEE of the Mitral Valve). Over the next decade, as the specialty matured, the Intraoperative Symposium changed to be an all day advance educational discussion on a specific topic with live intraoperative feeds and surgical porcine wet lab dissections. A few examples include 2007’s Perioperative echocardiography for heart failure surgery; 2008’s iSee my heart and 2009’s Utility of intraoperative echocardiography to guide surgical decision-making.