Emergency Physician Use of Tissue Doppler Bedside Echocardiography in Detecting Diastolic Dysfunction: An Exploratory Study

Crit Ultrasound J. 2018 Jan 25;10(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s13089-018-0084-5.


Introduction: This study evaluates the agreement between emergency physician (EP) assessment of diastolic dysfunction (DD) by a simplified approach using average peak mitral excursion velocity (e'A) and an independent cardiologist's diagnosis of DD by estimating left atrial (LA) pressure using American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) guidelines.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of 48 limited bedside echocardiograms (LBE) performed as a part of a research study of patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with elevated blood pressure but without decompensated heart failure. EPs diagnosed DD based on e'A < 9 cm/s alone. A blinded board-certified cardiologist reviewed LBEs to estimate LA filling pressures following ASE guidelines. An unweighted kappa measure was calculated to determine agreement between EP and cardiologist.

Results: Six LBEs were deemed indeterminate by the cardiologist and excluded from the analysis. Agreement was reached in 41 out of 48 cases (85.4%). The unweighted kappa coefficient was 0.74 (95% CI 0.57-0.92). EPs identified 18 out of 20 LBEs diagnosed with diastolic dysfunction by the cardiologist.

Conclusion: There is a good agreement between (e'A) by EP and cardiologist interpretation of LBEs. Future studies should investigate this simplified approach as a one-step method of screening for LV diastolic dysfunction in the ED.