Evaluation of a new pocket echoscopic device for focused-cardiac ultrasonography in emergency setting

Critical Care, 05/17/2012

Biais M et al. – In emergency setting, this new ultraportable echoscope was reliable for the real–time detection of focused cardiac abnormalities.


  • During 4months, patients admitted to the emergency department and requiring transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) were included in this single-center, prospective and observational study.
  • Patients underwent TTE using pocket ultrasound device (PUD) and conventional echocardiography system.
  • Each examination was performed independently by a physician experienced in echocardiography, unaware of the results found by the alternative device.
  • During the focused cardiac echocardiography, the following parameters were assessed: global cardiac systolic function, identification of ventricular enlargement or hypertrophy, assessment for pericardial effusion and estimation of the size and the respiratory changes of the inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter.


  • One hundred and fifty one (151) patients were analysed.
  • Using the tested PUD, the image quality was sufficient to perform focused cardiac ultrasonography in all patients.
  • Examination using PUD adequately qualified with a very good agreement global left ventricular systolic dysfunction (kappa=0.87; 95%CI: 0.76-0.97), severe right ventricular dilation (kappa=0.87; 95%CI: 0.71-1.00), inferior vena cava dilation (kappa=0.90; 95%CI: 0.80-1.00), respiratory induced variations in inferior vena cava size in spontaneous breathing (kappa=0.84; 95%CI: 0.71-0.98), pericardial effusion (kappa=0.75; 95%CI: 0.55-0.95) and compressive pericardial effusion (kappa=1.00; 95%CI: 1.00-1.00).

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