A visual approach for the accurate determination of echocardiographic left ventricular ejection fraction by medical students JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY Hope, M. D., de la Pena, E., Yang, P. C., Liang, D. H., McConnell, M. V., Rosenthal, D. N. 2003; 16 (8): 824-831


Previously published reports show that there is significant intraobserver, interobserver, and interinstitutional variability in the determination of left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) by echocardiography. With the increased deployment of echocardiography (eg, handheld devices), there exists a need for developing a simple, intuitive approach for evaluating LVEF that allows a wider range of physicians to accurately and rapidly determine LVEF.We sought to create a system for assessing LVEF that relies on recognition and matching of patterns, rather than on mathematic calculations and geometric assumptions.A library of videoclips of cardiac function was compiled from 54 patients who spanned the spectrum of LVEF. LVEFs were calculated for these patients using standard echocardiographic methods, with further validation of a subsample using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging measurement of LVEF. The library of images was used to create a software tool for assessing LVEF on the basis of a "template-matching" approach. The software tool was then tested on medical students (N=13) to determine whether it enabled relatively untrained individuals to make accurate LVEF estimates.Using a template-matching approach for interpretation of echocardiograms, medical students were able to accurately estimate LVEF after only a limited introduction to echocardiography. Their LVEF estimates showed good correlation and agreement with gold standard (r = 0.88, standard square of the estimate = 6.0, limits of agreement = +12.0%, -15.6%).A new visual approach for assessing cardiac function using template matching can accurately estimate LVEF. With minimal training, medical students can make LVEF estimates that correlate well with gold standard. The application of this new approach includes allowing for the interpretation of LVEF from echocardiograms to be performed by a broader spectrum of physicians.

View details for DOI 10.1067/S0894-7317(03)00400-0

View details for Web of Science ID 000184604400007

View details for PubMedID 12878991