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Fam Pract. 2012 Oct;29(5):534-40. Epub 2012 Feb 14.

Assessment of left ventricular function by GPs using pocket-sized ultrasound.

Author information

1
MI Laboratory, Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway. ole.c.mjolstad@ntnu.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Assessment of left ventricular (LV) function with echocardiography is mandatory in patients with suspected heart failure (HF).

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate if GPs were able to evaluate the LV function in patients at risk of developing or with established HF by using pocket-sized ultrasound (pUS).

METHODS:

Feasibility study in general practice, seven GPs in three different Norwegian primary care centres participated. Ninety-two patients with reduced or at risk of developing reduced LV function were examined by their own GP using pUS. The scan (<5 minute) was done as part of a routine appointment. A cardiologist examined the patients <30 minutes afterwards with both a laptop scanner and pUS. Measurements of the septal mitral annular excursion (sMAE) were compared.

RESULTS:

In 87% of the patients, the GPs were able to obtain a standard view and measure the sMAE. There was a non-significant mean difference in sMAE between GP pUS and cardiologist laptop scanner of -0.15 mm 95% confidence interval (-0.60 to 0.30) mm. A comparison of the pUS recordings and measurements of sMAE made by GP versus cardiologist revealed a non-significant mean difference with acceptable 95% limits of agreement (-0.26 ± 3.02 mm).

CONCLUSIONS:

With tailored training, GPs were able to assess LV function with sMAE and pUS. pUS, as a supplement to the physical examination, may become an important tool in general practice.

PMID:
22333323
PMCID:
PMC3450434
DOI:
10.1093/fampra/cms009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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