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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 133-138

A teaching intervention increases the performance of handheld ultrasound devices for assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction

1 Non-Invasive Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
2 Department of Biostatistics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
3 Qatar Cardiovascular Research Center, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Alessandro Salustri
Non-Invasive Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, P.O. Box 3050, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: Few studies have demonstrated the utility of a teaching program for evaluation of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of echocardiographic images acquired with high-end machines. No study to date explored the value of similar programs when a handheld ultrasound device is used. The aim of this study was to determine whether a teaching intervention could improve the accuracy and the reliability of LVEF visual assessment of echocardiographic images acquired with HUD. Materials and Methods: Twenty echocardiograms acquired with a hand-held ultrasound device with a spectrum of LVEF were presented to 26 participants with varying experience in echocardiography (range 2–12 years) for single-point LVEF visual estimates. After this baseline assessment, participants underwent three training sessions which included analysis of the individual baseline results and review and interpretation of additional 60 cases from the same platform. After 2 months, 20 new echocardiograms were presented to the same 26 participants for visual LVEF assessment. For each participant, the visual LVEF for each case was compared with the reference LVEF (quantitative measurements by experts), and a difference of > ±5% was considered a misclassification. Results: The misclassification rate was 61% preintervention and decreased to 41% after intervention (P < 0.0001). The mean absolute differences in LVEF between visual estimates and reference before and after intervention for all readers were −7.9 ± 9.6 and −1.2 ± 7.8, respectively (P < 0.0001). Inter-rater repeatability analysis was performed using the intraclass correlation coefficient. The intraclass correlation coefficient for inter-rater reliability was fair preintervention (0.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59 0.71) and good after intervention (0.80, 95% CI 0.73 0.87), and there were no differences when categorized according to the level of experience. Conclusions: A teaching intervention can improve the accuracy and the reliability in the visual LVEF assessment of images acquired with handheld ultrasound device.

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