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Evaluation of the interpretative skills of participants of a limited transthoracic echocardiography training course (H.A.R.T.scan® course)

Ultrasound Education Group, Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Limited transthoracic echocardiography performed by treating physicians may facilitate assessment of haemodynamic abnormalities in perioperative and critical care patients. The interpretative skills of one hundred participants who completed an education program in limited transthoracic echocardiography were assessed by reporting five pre-recorded case studies. A high level of agreement was observed in ventricular volume assessment (left 95%, right 96%), systolic function (left 99%, right 96%), left atrial pressure (96%) and haemodynamic state (97%). The highest failure to report answers (that is, no answer given) was for right ventricular volume and function. For moderate or severe valve lesions, agreement ranged from 90 to 98%, with failure to report <5% in all cases except for mitral stenosis (18%). For mild valve lesions, the range of agreement was lower (53 to 100%) due to overestimation of severity. Medical practitioners who completed the structured educational program showed good agreement with experts in interpretation of valve and ventricular function.

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