Intern Emerg Med. 2023 Apr 27. doi: 10.1007/s11739-023-03279-8. Online ahead of print.
Acute dyspnea (AD) is one of the main reasons for admission to the Emergency Department (ED). In the last years integrated ultrasound examination (IUE) of lung, heart and inferior vena cava (IVC) has become an extension of clinical examination for a fast differential diagnosis. The aim of present study is to assess the feasibility and diagnostic accuracy of E/A ratio for diagnosing acute heart failure (aHF) in patients with acute dyspnea. We included 92 patients presenting to the ED of CTO Hospital in Naples (Italy) for AD. All patients underwent IUE of lung-heart-IVC with a portable ultrasound device. Left ventricle diastolic function was assessed using pulse wave doppler at the tips of the mitral valve and E wave velocity and E/A ratio were recorded. The FINAL diagnosis was determined by two expert reviewers: acute HF or non-acute HF (non-aHF). We used 2 × 2 contingency tables to analyze sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive and negative predictive value of ultrasound parameters for the diagnosis of AD, comparing with the FINAL diagnosis. Lung ultrasound (LUS) showed high sensitivity, good specificity and accuracy in identification of patients with aHF. However, the highest accuracy was obtained by diastolic function parameters. The E/A ratio showed the highest diagnostic performance with an AUC for aHF of 0.93. In patients presenting with AD, E/A ratio is easy to obtain in a fast ultrasound protocol and showed an excellent accuracy for diagnosis of aHF.