Aim: To evaluate the impact of hand-carried cardiac ultrasound (HCU) on the diagnosis and management of patients during cardiac consultation rounds. Methods and results: One hundred and fifty patients hospitalized in non-cardiac units were included after the consulting cardiologist felt that an echocardiographic examination was indicated as part of his work-up. They were randomly allocated to echocardiography with an HCU device (SonoHeart™, SonoSite, Inc.) (75 patients) or with a full-featured standard echo (FE) system (75 patients). The consulting cardiologist noted whether a definitive diagnosis was made or further study was necessary. Diagnosis and change in management were noted. In the HCU patient group there were 103 clinical questions. Seventy-two percent of the referral questions required no comprehensive echocardiographic evaluation. For questions of left ventricular function, valve abnormalities and pericardial effusion this was 98%. In 48% there was an immediate change in clinical management. In the FE patient group there were 94 clinical questions. In 32% the FE examination led to change in clinical management. Conclusion: HCU echocardiography provides clinically worthwhile assessment of left ventricular function, valve abnormalities and pericardial effusion in 98% of the cases. A direct assessment of cardiac function and anatomy at the bedside by an experienced cardiologist results in a significant immediate change in clinical management during consultation.

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European Journal of Echocardiography
Department of Cardiology

de Groot-de Laat, L.E, ten Cate, F.J, Vourvouri, E.C, van Domburg, R.T, & Roelandt, J.R.T.C. (2005). Impact of hand-carried cardiac ultrasound on diagnosis and management during cardiac consultation rounds. European Journal of Echocardiography, 6(3), 196–201. doi:10.1016/j.euje.2004.09.013