Diagnostic accuracy of pocket-size handheld echocardiographs used by cardiologists in the acute care setting.

Research paper by Ariane A Testuz, Hajo H Müller, Pierre-Frédéric PF Keller, Philippe P Meyer, Tomoe T Stampfli, Lucka L Sekoranja, Cédric C Vuille, Haran H Burri

Indexed on: 27 Apr '12Published on: 27 Apr '12Published in: European heart journal cardiovascular Imaging


Pocket-size echographs may be useful for bedside diagnosis in acute cardiac care, but their diagnostic accuracy in this setting has not been well tested. Our aim was to evaluate this tool in patients requiring an urgent echocardiogram.Trained cardiologists performed echocardiograms with a pocket-size echograph (Vscan) in consecutive patients requiring urgent echocardiography. The exams were then compared in a blinded manner with echocardiograms performed with a high-end standard echocardiograph.A total of 104 patients were studied. There was an excellent agreement between the Vscan and the high-end echocardiograph for the left ventricular systolic function and pericardial effusion (Kappa: 0.89 and 0.81, respectively), and the agreement was good or moderate for evaluating the aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valve function and the left ventricular size (Kappa: 0.55-0.66). Visualization of the Vscan images in full-screen format on a PC did not in general confer added value.The Vscan used by a trained cardiologist has good diagnostic accuracy in the emergency setting compared with a high-end echocardiograph, despite small screen size and lack of pulse-wave and continuous Doppler.