The availability of ultra-miniaturized pocket ultrasound devices (PUD) adds diagnostic power to the clinical examination. Information on accuracy of ultrasound with handheld units in immediate differential diagnosis in emergency department (ED) is poor. The aim of this study is to test the usefulness and accuracy of lung ultrasound (LUS) alone or combined with ultrasound of the heart and inferior vena cava (IVC) using a PUD for the differential diagnosis of acute dyspnea (AD).
We included 68 patients presenting to the ED of “Maurizio Bufalini” Hospital in Cesena (Italy) for AD. All patients underwent integrated ultrasound examination (IUE) of lung-heart-IVC, using PUD. The series was divided into patients with dyspnea of cardiac or non-cardiac origin. We used 2 × 2 contingency tables to analyze sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the three ultrasonic methods and their various combinations for the diagnosis of cardiogenic dyspnea (CD), comparing with the final diagnosis made by an independent emergency physician.
LUS alone exhibited a good sensitivity (92.6%) and specificity (80.5%). The highest accuracy (90%) for the diagnosis of CD was obtained with the combination of LUS and one of the other two methods (heart or IVC).
The IUE with PUD is a useful extension of the clinical examination, can be readily available at the bedside or in ambulance, requires few minutes and has a reliable diagnostic discriminant ability in the setting of AD.
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- Diagnostic performance of multi-organ ultrasound with pocket-sized device in the management of acute dyspnea
Maria Viviana Carlino
Giovanni de Simone
- BioMed Central
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