Merits and perils of targeted neonatal echocardiography-based hemodynamic research: a position statement 1

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2019 Mar;97(3):183-186. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2018-0458. Epub 2018 Oct 16.


In the neonatal setting, point-of-care ultrasound is increasingly being used to help clinicians with the evaluation of heart function. Practices in neonatology, particularly with regard to acute and chronic hemodynamic managements, were traditionally more driven on dogma and predefined thresholds and not always supported by demonstrable physiology. For the first time, targeted neonatal echocardiography (TNE) provided neonatal intensivists with a bedside tool that made real-time assessment of neonatal hemodynamics status feasible in even the tiniest of babies. This opened the door towards more targeted physiological driven practices, allowing us to test historical approaches to clinical problems in a more precise way. Despite the standardization of TNE training and the creation of a formalized curriculum, little attention has been paid to the establishment of an empirical framework to adjudicate scientific investigation. In this position statement, we reflect on the evolution of TNE in Canadian neonatal intensive care units, appraise its strengths and limitations, and suggest guiding principles for clinicians and researchers to consider as they take this field forward.

Keywords: echocardiography; hemodynamics; hémodynamie; neonate; néonatalogie; recherche; research; échocardiographie.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Canada
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Neonatology / methods
  • Ultrasonography / methods