• transesophageal echocardiography;
  • echocardiography;
  • aortic atheroma;
  • reproducibility;
  • stroke

Although transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a well-established tool in delineating the cardiac and aortic sources of emboli in stroke patients, its reproducibility in detecting aortic atherosclerosis (AA) that may lead to stroke is not well documented. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the inter- and intra-observer agreement in diagnosing AA based on the TEE study. During the study period, 2 echocardiographers read 32 TEE studies performed on a group of stroke patients. The AA was estimated by measuring the largest atheroma thickness in millimeters (mm). The intra-observers and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were 0.97 and 0.85, respectively, for the 2 TEE observers. The inter-rater ICC coefficient between TEE readers was 0.91. In conclusion, TEE detected AA and defined high proportions of the morphological characteristics of atheroma with good reproducibility among inter and intra-observers.