Use of a pocket-sized ultrasound device (PUD) helps to reduce the need for further testing in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, reveal results from a study presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015.
The study evaluated the effectiveness of the PUD when testing for the following conditions: biliary-duct dilation, gallstones, ascites, splenomegaly, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, urinary retention, urinary stones, abdominal mass and aortic aneurysm.
PUDs offer a comparable performance to standard ultrasonography, however the accuracy of a physical examination is often poor meaning that further tests are required. This study assessed whether adding the use of PUD to physical examination could lead to a reduction in the rate of additional tests.
Of the 1,962 patients included in the study:
726 (37%) were inpatients, 510 (26%) were hepatology outpatients and 726 (37%) were recruited from GPs
Gallstones (37%), ascites - excessive accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity (17%), pleural effusion (13%), urinary stones (13%) and urinary retention (12%) accounted for more than 90% of the clinical questions, confirmed by PUD in 66% of cases
The overall frequency of further tests needed after PUD was 37%
The rate of agreement between findings of the PUD and additional tests was 89%
This study found that after basic training, the use of a PUD offers a simple and effective way to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and reduce the number of tests a patient needs.