Background & aims: High-resolution manometry with spatiotemporal representation of pressure data is a technique that has developed during the past 10-15 years. We compared spatiotemporal and traditional line plot representation of manometry data in a group of medical students in terms of the ability of the user to come to a rapid and accurate diagnosis and evaluated user preferences for the 2 forms of data display.
Methods: After standardized paper-based and electronic tutorials, 60 medical students classified 30 typical examples of a range of motility disorders in both line plots (10 sensors, including a "virtual sleeve") and spatiotemporal plot format (derived from 16 sensors). Swallows were presented electronically in random order. The accuracy and speed of the assessment were compared between the 2 forms of data presentation, as well as a subjective rating of preference. Results are presented as mean +/- standard error of the mean.
Results: Classifications based on data presented in spatiotemporal format were more often correct (89% +/- 1.2% vs 86% +/- 1.3%, P = .002), and correct diagnoses were provided more promptly (25 +/- 2.9 seconds vs 31 +/- 3.2 seconds, P < .001) than in line plot format. Sixty-eight percent of the study population preferred the spatiotemporal presentation.
Conclusions: The analysis of manometry data by manometry-naive individuals is faster and more accurate when data are presented in spatiotemporal than in line plot format. In addition, users preferred the spatiotemporal plots. Spatiotemporal presentation of manometric data is likely to be more easily understood by patients and the "non-expert" physician community.