Feasibility Study of Advanced Focused Cardiac Measurements Within the Emergency Department

Crit Ultrasound J. 2018 May 25;10(1):10. doi: 10.1186/s13089-018-0093-4.


Background: This study aims to compare the increased time needed to perform advanced focused cardiac measurements in the emergency department, including diastolic heart failure evaluation via E/E', and cardiac output with LVOT/VTI. Patients with pertinent cardiopulmonary symptoms in the emergency department had a focused cardiac ultrasound performed by the emergency department ultrasound team. The ability to obtain basic cardiac windows, evaluate for effusion, systolic ejection fraction, and right-sided heart pressures were recorded. Advanced measurements, along with time to obtain all images and the training level of the provider, were recorded.

Results: Fifty-three patients were enrolled. Basic focused cardiac windows were able to be obtained in 80% of patients. The average 4-window focused cardiac ultrasound took 4 min and 49 s to perform. Diastolic measurements were able to be obtained in 51% of patients, taking an average of 3 min and 17 s. Cardiac output measurements were able to be obtained in 53% of patients, taking an average of 3 min and 8 s.

Conclusion: The ability to obtain these images improved with increasing level of training. Performing both cardiac output and diastolic measurements increased the time with bedside ultrasound by 6 min and 25 s, and were able to be obtained in slightly over half of all ED patients.

Keywords: Diastolic; Echocardiogram; Focused cardiac ultrasound; Point of care ultrasound; Ultrasound; VTI.