A suggested curriculum in echocardiography for critical care physicians

Crit Care Med. 2007 Aug;35(8 Suppl):S431-3. doi: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000270280.65365.AA.


Echocardiography is a powerful diagnostic and monitoring tool of cardiac performance, cardiac pathology, and extracardiac intrathoracic abnormalities. Numerous investigations in intensive care have shown its merit, being efficacious and safe. Because many obvious and/or unsuspected conditions can impact the hemodynamic status of critically ill patients, echocardiography is becoming an integral part of an intensivist's diagnostic and monitoring armamentarium. However, significant background information, cognitive, and technical skills are required to properly perform and interpret echocardiography images. Some education and training guidelines for echocardiography have been developed while others remain "in progress." This manuscript suggests a core curriculum and necessary training elements for intensivists. This curriculum does not segregate portable handheld surface echocardiography from the typical platforms of transthoracic echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography, because hardware and software developments have bridged these technologies.

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Echocardiography*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Physicians*
  • Problem-Based Learning