Hocus POCUS! Parental quantification of left-ventricular ejection fraction using point of care ultrasound: Fiction or reality?


Advocate Children's Hospital


Point of care ultrasound has become increasingly utilized in pediatric settings. The assessment of cardiac function is one such implementation of this. This study aimed to determine the feasibility of parents in acquiring images to assess function using a handheld ultrasound probe and the correlation of fractional shortening measurements by handheld ultrasound with hospital acquired echocardiography. This was a single-center prospective study of parents of pediatric patients admitted to the hospital. Parents underwent a 25-min education session on how to use the handheld ultrasound probe and then were asked to acquire a parasternal short-axis and apical four-chamber image on their own. Acquired images were reviewed by two physicians to determine adequacy of images to assess systolic cardiac function subjectively and objectively. Fractional shortening was measured using parent-acquired images and then compared to recent hospital acquired fractional shortening. A total of 25 parents of 21 patients enrolled and completed the study. Of the enrolled parents, 96% of both parasternal short-axis and apical four-chamber images acquired were deemed appropriate for subjective assessment of systolic function. Inter-reader variability of fractional shortening was moderate between two readers. Correlation of fractional shortening measured from parent-acquired images versus hospital acquired images was moderate. Parents were able to successfully obtain a parasternal short-axis and apical four-chamber image adequate to assess function and quantify fractional shortening after a 25-min education session. This pilot data demonstrate that further exploration of parent-performed point of care cardiac assessment may be warranted.



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