Background: Cardiovascular status is a crucial determinant in the pre-operative assessment of patients for surgery as well as for the handling of patients with acute illness. We hypothesized that focus-assessed transthoracic echocardiography (FATE) could be performed with the subject in the semi-recumbent position. The aim was also to test whether the image quality of Vscan is interchangeable with a conventional high-quality portable echocardiography system. Furthermore, we evaluated the time needed to achieve an interpretable four-chamber view and to complete a full FATE examination.
Methods: Sixty-one subjects were included. All subjects were examined in accordance with the FATE protocol in the semi-recumbent position on two different systems: the novel Vscan pocket device and the high-quality portable Vivid i system. Two evaluations were performed. In group A (n=30), the focus was on image quality. In group B (n=31), the focus was on the time consumed.
Results: Group A: All patients (100%) had at least one image suitable for interpretation and no significant difference in image quality (P=0.32) was found between the two different systems. Group B: The mean value for the total time consumed for a full FATE was 69.3 s (59.8-78.8) on the Vscan and 63.7s (56.7-70.8) on the Vivid i, with no significant difference among the scanners (P=0.08).
Conclusion: The Vscan displays image quality interchangeable with larger and more expensive systems. The apparatus is well suited for performing a FATE examination in a 1-day surgery setting and could very well also be applicable in almost any situation involving patients with acute illness.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation.