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Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2015 Aug;14(4):286-93. doi: 10.1177/1474515114547651. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

Feasibility and reliability of pocket-size ultrasound examinations of the pleural cavities and vena cava inferior performed by nurses in an outpatient heart failure clinic.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Levanger Hospital, Nord-Trøndelag Health Trust, Norway MI Lab, Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway havard.dalen@ntnu.no.
2
Department of Medicine, Levanger Hospital, Nord-Trøndelag Health Trust, Norway.
3
Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway Department of Clinical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Routine assessment of volume state by ultrasound may improve follow-up of heart failure patients.

AIMS:

We aimed to study the feasibility and reliability of focused pocket-size ultrasound examinations of the pleural cavities and the inferior vena cava performed by nurses to assess volume state at an outpatient heart failure clinic.

METHODS:

Ultrasound examinations were performed in 62 included heart failure patients by specialized nurses with a pocket-size imaging device (PSID). Patients were then re-examined by a cardiologist with a high-end scanner for reference within 1 h. Specialized nurses were able to obtain and interpret images from both pleural cavities and the inferior vena cava and estimate the volume status in all patients.

RESULTS:

Time consumption for focused ultrasound examination was median 5 min. In total 26 patients had any kind of pleural effusion (in 39 pleural cavities) by reference. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were high, all ≥ 92%. The correlations with reference were high for all measurements, all r ≥ 0.79. Coefficients of variation for end-expiratory dimension of inferior vena cava and quantification of pleural effusion were 10.8% and 12.7%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Specialized nurses were, after a dedicated training protocol, able to obtain reliable recordings of both pleural cavities and the inferior vena cava by PSID and interpret the images in a reliable way. Implementing focused ultrasound examinations to assess volume status by nurses in an outpatient heart failure clinic may improve diagnostics, and thus improve therapy.

KEYWORDS:

Echocardiography; Vscan; diagnosis; hand-held; portable; scanner

PMID:
25122616
DOI:
10.1177/1474515114547651
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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