Pocket-size echocardiograph--a valuable tool for nonexperts or just a portable device for echocardiographers?
Adv Med Sci. 2013;58(1):67-72
Authors: Filipiak-Strzecka D, John B, Kasprzak JD, Michalski B, Lipiec P
PURPOSE: The diagnostic value of examinations performed with the use of pocket-size echocardiograph by medical professionals with different levels of experience remains to be determined. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic value of bedside echocardiographic examinations performed with the use of pocket-size echocardiograph by experienced cardiologist and medical students.
MATERIAL/METHODS: The study group comprised 90 patients (63 men, 27 women; mean age 64±14 years) admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit and 30 patients from an out-patient clinic (21 men, 9 women; mean age 62±17 years). All patients underwent bedside echocardiographic examination performed with pocket-size echocardiograph by two briefly trained medical students (n=90 patients) or cardiologist (n=30 patients). Major findings were recorded using a simplified questionnaire. Within 24 hours standard echocardiographic examination was performed in all patients by another cardiologist using a full sized echocardiograph. The study group was divided into 4 subgroups: A / B - first / second half of in-patients examined by students, group C - inpatients examined by cardiologist, group D- out-patients examined by students.
RESULTS: The agreement between standard transthoracic echocardiography (sTTE) and major findings on bedside transthoracic echocardiography (bTTE) was fair to moderate (kappa 0.293-0.57) in group A, moderate to very good (kappa 0.535-1.00) in group B, good to very good (kappa 0.734-1.00) in group C and moderate to very good (kappa 0.590-1.00) in group D.
CONCLUSIONS: Pocket-size echocardiograph enables an expert echocardiographer to perform reliable bedside examinations. When used by briefly trained medical students it provides an acceptable diagnostic value with notable learning curve effect.
PMID: 23612676 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]