Experience with an ultrasound stethoscope

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2002 Jan;15(1):80-5. doi: 10.1067/mje.2002.115268.


Background: To test the diagnostic potential of the SonoHeart, a battery-powered hand-held ultrasound imaging device, in an outpatient clinic setting.

Methods: A total of 114 patients with a variety of cardiac diseases were examined by 2 independent cardiologists with the hand-held device using the standard echocardiographic system (SE) as a reference. Global right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) function (scored as normal, mildly to moderately, or severely reduced) and internal cavity dimensions were assessed. Regional wall motion of 6 segments using a 2-point score (1 = normal wall motion, 2 = abnormal wall motion) was evaluated in 34 patients on-line.

Results: There was a good agreement between the 2 imaging devices for evaluation of global LV (93%) and RV function (99%), regional wall motion (90%), dimensions of the LV (99%) and the RV (99%), and the left (96%) and right atria (99%). Furthermore, SonoHeart identified hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, pericardial effusion, and abnormalities of valves.

Conclusion: The SonoHeart device allows rapid and accurate diagnosis, whenever needed in the outpatient clinic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Echocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Diseases / complications
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Stethoscopes*
  • Thrombosis / complications
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Function / physiology