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Z Gastroenterol. 2014 Mar;52(3):269-75. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1350114. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

EchoScopy in scanning abdominal diseases: initial clinical experience.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
Medical Clinic 2, Caritas-Krankenhaus Bad Mergentheim, Academic Teaching Hospital of the University of Würzburg, Bad Mergentheim, Germany.



The introduction of a new type of small handheld ultrasound device brings greater portability and affordability. The basic ultrasound approach with these handheld devices has been defined by European Federation of Societies of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB) as "EchoScopy". The current study aimed to assess the image quality, indications and limitations of a portable pocket "EchoScope" compared with a high-end ultrasound system in abdominal diseases.


231 consecutive patients were included in this study. Physician A performed ultrasound examinations with a high-end ultrasound system (HEUS), then physician B performed the same ultrasound examination using an EchoScope (Vscan™). In patients with focal lesions, physician B also measured the largest diameters and graded the vascularity by using colour Doppler imaging (CDI) within the lesion on the same plane with both ultrasound systems. Compared with the excellent image quality using HEUS, the image quality of the EchoScope was graded as good, sufficient or non-sufficient.


Out of all 231 patients, 167 had focal lesions, 19 patients were found with diffuse pathological findings, six with ascites, six after liver puncture and 33 without any pathological findings. The image quality of the pocket device was considered as being good or sufficient to delineate the pathology in 225/231 (97.4 %). The detection rate of the EchoScope for abdominal focal lesion was 162/167 (97 %), only five superficially located lesions could not be detected. Both systems showed agreement in determination of the best positioning to perform abdominal paracentesis and assessing complications after intervention.


The investigated EchoScope displays a sufficient image quality, in some indications such as detection of focal lesions > 20 mm, detection of ascites, hydronephrosis and other pathological findings with comparable results to HEUS. We conclude that pocket sized EchoScopy devices have a promising future but the indications have to be determined by a prospective study.

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