Early Point-of-Care Ultrasound Assessment for Medical Patients Reduces Time to Appropriate Treatment: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Yael Ben-Baruch Golan, Re'em Sadeh, Yuval Mizrakli, Tali Shafat, Iftach Sagy, Tzachi Slutsky, Sergio L. Kobal, Victor Novack, Lior Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Numerous studies emphasize the diagnostic importance of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), but the level of evidence remains low as most data are gathered from observational studies. We conducted a pilot, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of POCUS exam on medical patient's management and clinical outcomes. Patients presenting with chest pain or dyspnea were enrolled and randomly allocated to an early POCUS scan group and a control group. POCUS assessment, within 24 h of internal ward admission, was conducted only for the intervention group. The primary outcome was time to correct diagnosis. Secondary outcomes included time to appropriate treatment, POCUS-related rate of primary diagnosis alteration and new clinically relevant findings and time to hospital discharge. Sixty patients were enrolled. Thirty patients were randomly allocated to each study arm. The POCUS exam revealed clinically relevant findings among 79% of patients and led to alteration of the primary diagnosis among 28% of patients. Time to appropriate treatment was significantly shorter among patients in the POCUS group compared with the control group (median time of 5 h [95% confidence interval: 0.5–9] vs. 24 h [95% CI: 19–29] p = 0.014). The time needed to achieve correct diagnosis by the primary team was shorter in the POCUS group compared with the control group, yet it did not reach statistical significance (median time of 24 h [95% CI: 18–30] vs. 48 h [95% CI: 20–76], p = 0.12). These results indicate that POCUS assessment conducted early among patients with dyspnea or chest pain improves diagnostic accuracy and shortens significantly the time to appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1908-1915
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Volume46
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Chest pain
  • Clinical management
  • Dyspnea
  • Internal medicine
  • Point-of-care ultrasound

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Early Point-of-Care Ultrasound Assessment for Medical Patients Reduces Time to Appropriate Treatment: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this