Transtelephonic echocardiography: successful use in a tertiary pediatric referral center

J Pediatr. 1993 Jun;122(6):S84-8. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(09)90049-x.


Recent advances in computers and telecommunications have made transtelephonic echocardiography practical. Our institution is developing a network of transmissional echocardiographic sites at several hospitals in our referral region. We reviewed our initial experience to determine whether transmissional echocardiographic studies (1) gave an appropriate diagnostic impression compared with subsequent videotape review and (2) led to appropriate clinical management (i.e., transfer to a tertiary center or continuation of local care and follow-up). From Aug. 1, 1991, to May 31, 1992, we evaluated 47 transmissional studies (diagnoses: 24 normal, 8 patent ductus arteriosus, 6 ventricular septal defect, 2 pulmonary stenosis, 1 ventricular septal defect with interrupted aortic arch, and 6 miscellaneous). Of 47 studies, 39 (83%) were thought to give accurate diagnostic impressions compared with videotape review. Most inaccuracies were due to the selection and transmission of inconclusive information in an otherwise accurate diagnostic study. Only 1 (2%) of 47 studies resulted in an inappropriate clinical decision; a patient's transfer for treatment of a potent ductus arteriosus was delayed 1 day because of an inconclusive transmissional study. We conclude that transmissional echocardiography is useful in the management of pediatric patients with suspected heart disease in a regional referral setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography*
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Hospitals, Pediatric*
  • Hospitals, University*
  • Humans
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Telemedicine*