Jun K Teoh and Richard P Steeds
Boyang Liu, Nicola C Edwards, Simon Ray and Richard P Steeds
Mitral regurgitation (MR) is the second most common form of valvular disease requiring surgery. Correct identification of surgical candidates and optimising the timing of surgery are key in management. For primary MR, this relies upon a balance between the peri-operative risks and rates of successful repair in patients undergoing early surgery when asymptomatic with the potential risk of irreversible left ventricular dysfunction if intervention is performed too late. For secondary MR, recognition that this is a highly dynamic condition where MR severity may change is key, although data on outcomes in determining whether concomitant valve intervention is performed with revascularisation has raised questions regarding timing of surgery. There has been substantial interest in the use of stress echocardiography to risk stratify patients in mitral regurgitation. This article reviews the role of stress echocardiography in both primary and secondary mitral regurgitation and discusses how this can help clinicians tackle the challenges of this prevalent condition.
Benoy N Shah, Anita MacNab, Jane Lynch, Reinette Hampson, Roxy Senior and Richard P Steeds
Stress echocardiography is a widely utilised test in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD), valvular heart disease and cardiomyopathies. Its advantages include the ubiquitous availability of echocardiography, lack of ionising radiation, choice of physiological or pharmacological stressors, good diagnostic accuracy and robust supporting evidence base. SE has evolved significantly as a technique over the past three decades and has benefitted considerably from improvements in overall image quality (superior resolution), machine technology (e.g. digital cine-loop acquisition and side-by-side image display) and development of second-generation ultrasound contrast agents that have improved reader confidence and diagnostic accuracy. The purpose of this article is to review the breadth of SE in contemporary clinical cardiology and discuss the recently launched British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) Stress Echocardiography accreditation scheme.
Girish Dwivedi, Ganadevan Mahadevan, Donie Jimenez, Michael Frenneaux and Richard P Steeds
Only limited data are available from which normal ranges of mitral annular (MA) and tricuspid annular (TA) dimensions have been established. Normative data are important to assist the echocardiographer in defining the mechanism of atrioventricular valve regurgitation and to inform surgical planning. This study was conceived to establish normal MA and TA dimensions. Consecutive healthy subjects over the age of 60 were randomly recruited from the community as part of a screening project within South Birmingham. MA and TA dimensions in end-systole and end-diastole were evaluated in the parasternal and apical acoustic windows views using transthoracic echocardiography. Gender (males (M) and females (F))-specific dimensions were then assessed. A total of 554 subjects were screened and 74 with pathology considered to have an effect on annular dimensions were excluded from analysis. The mean age of the remaining 480 subjects was 70±7 years and the majority were female (56%). Dimensions were larger in men than in women and greater at end-diastole than end-systole (both P<0.05). Mean MA diameters at end-systole in the parasternal long axis view (cm) were 3.44 cm (M) and 3.11 cm (F) and at end-diastole 3.15 cm (M) and 2.83 cm (F) respectively. Mean TA diameters (cm) at end-systole in the apical 4 chamber view were 2.84 (M) and 2.80 (F) and at end-diastole 3.15 (M) and 3.01 (F) respectively. The reference ranges derived from this study differ from current published standards and should help to improve distinction of normal from pathological findings, in identifying aetiology and defining the mechanism of regurgitation.
John Fryearson, Nicola C Edwards, Sagar N Doshi and Richard P Steeds
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation is now accepted as a standard mode of treatment for an increasingly large population of patients with severe aortic stenosis. With the availability of this technique, echocardiographers need to be familiar with the imaging characteristics that can help to identify which patients are best suited to conventional surgery or transcatheter aortic valve implantation, and what parameters need to be measured. This review highlights the major features that should be assessed during transthoracic echocardiography before presentation of the patient to the ‘Heart Team’. In addition, this review summarises the aspects to be considered on echocardiography during follow-up assessment after successful implantation of a transcatheter aortic valve.
Tom E Ingram, Stephanie Baker, Jane Allen, Sarah Ritzmann, Nina Bual, Laura Duffy, Chris Ellis, Karina Bunting, Noel Black, Marcus Peck, Sandeep Singh Hothi, Vish Sharma, Keith Pearce, Richard P Steeds and Navroz Masani
Background: Quality assurance (QA) of echocardiographic studies is vital to ensure that clinicians can act on findings of high-quality to deliver excellent patient care. To date there is a paucity of published guidance on how to perform this QA. The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) has previously produced an Echocardiography Quality Framework (EQF) to assist departments with their QA processes. This article expands on the EQF with a structured yet versatile approach on how to analyse echocardiographic departments to ensure high-quality standards are met. In addition, a process is detailed for departments that are seeking to demonstrate to external bodies adherence to a robust QA process.
Methods: The EQF consists of four domains. These include assessment of: Echo Quality (including study acquisition and report generation); Reproducibility and Consistency (including analysis of individual variability when compared to the group and focused clinical audit), Education and Training (for all providers and service-users) and Customer Satisfaction (of both service-users and patients/their carers). Examples of what could be done in each of these areas are presented. Furthermore, evidence of participation in each domain is categorised against a red, amber or green rating: with an amber or green rating signifying that a quantifiable level of engagement in that aspect of QA has been achieved.
Conclusion: The proposed EQF is a powerful tool that focuses the limited time available for departmental QA on areas of practice where a change in patient experience or outcome is most likely to occur.
Thomas Mathew, Lynne Williams, Govardhan Navaratnam, Bushra Rana, Richard Wheeler, Katherine Collins, Allan Harkness, Richard Jones, Dan Knight, Kevin O'Gallagher, David Oxborough, Liam Ring, Julie Sandoval, Martin Stout, Vishal Sharma, Richard P Steeds and on behalf of the British Society of Echocardiography Education Committee
Heart failure (HF) is a debilitating and life-threatening condition, with 5-year survival rate lower than breast or prostate cancer. It is the leading cause of hospital admission in over 65s, and these admissions are projected to rise by more than 50% over the next 25 years. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is the first-line step in diagnosis in acute and chronic HF and provides immediate information on chamber volumes, ventricular systolic and diastolic function, wall thickness, valve function and the presence of pericardial effusion, while contributing to information on aetiology. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the third most common cause of HF and is the most common cardiomyopathy. It is defined by the presence of left ventricular dilatation and left ventricular systolic dysfunction in the absence of abnormal loading conditions (hypertension and valve disease) or coronary artery disease sufficient to cause global systolic impairment. This document provides a practical approach to diagnosis and assessment of dilated cardiomyopathy that is aimed at the practising sonographer.
Daniel X Augustine, Lindsay D Coates-Bradshaw, James Willis, Allan Harkness, Liam Ring, Julia Grapsa, Gerry Coghlan, Nikki Kaye, David Oxborough, Shaun Robinson, Julie Sandoval, Bushra S Rana, Anjana Siva, Petros Nihoyannopoulos, Luke S Howard, Kevin Fox, Sanjeev Bhattacharyya, Vishal Sharma, Richard P Steeds, Thomas Mathew and the British Society of Echocardiography Education Committee
Pulmonary hypertension is defined as a mean arterial pressure of ≥25 mmHg as confirmed on right heart catheterisation. Traditionally, the pulmonary arterial systolic pressure has been estimated on echo by utilising the simplified Bernoulli equation from the peak tricuspid regurgitant velocity and adding this to an estimate of right atrial pressure. Previous studies have demonstrated a correlation between this estimate of pulmonary arterial systolic pressure and that obtained from invasive measurement across a cohort of patients. However, for an individual patient significant overestimation and underestimation can occur and the levels of agreement between the two is poor. Recent guidance has suggested that echocardiographic assessment of pulmonary hypertension should be limited to determining the probability of pulmonary hypertension being present rather than estimating the pulmonary artery pressure. In those patients in whom the presence of pulmonary hypertension requires confirmation, this should be done with right heart catheterisation when indicated. This guideline protocol from the British Society of Echocardiography aims to outline a practical approach to assessing the probability of pulmonary hypertension using echocardiography and should be used in conjunction with the previously published minimum dataset for a standard transthoracic echocardiogram.
Thomas E Ingram, Steph Baker, Jane Allen, Sarah Ritzmann, Nina Bual, Laura Duffy, Chris Ellis, Karina Bunting, Noel Black, Marcus Peck, Sandeep S Hothi, Vishal Sharma, Keith Pearce, Richard P Steeds, Navroz Masani and the British Society of Echocardiography Clinical Standards and Departmental Accreditation Committees
Quality assurance (QA) of echocardiographic studies is vital to ensure that clinicians can act on findings of high quality to deliver excellent patient care. To date, there is a paucity of published guidance on how to perform this QA. The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) has previously produced an Echocardiography Quality Framework (EQF) to assist departments with their QA processes. This article expands on the EQF with a structured yet versatile approach on how to analyse echocardiographic departments to ensure high-quality standards are met. In addition, a process is detailed for departments that are seeking to demonstrate to external bodies adherence to a robust QA process.
The EQF consists of four domains. These include assessment of Echo Quality (including study acquisition and report generation); Reproducibility & Consistency (including analysis of individual variability when compared to the group and focused clinical audit), Education & Training (for all providers and service users) and Customer & Staff Satisfaction (of both service users and patients/their carers). Examples of what could be done in each of these areas are presented. Furthermore, evidence of participation in each domain is categorised against a red, amber or green rating: with an amber or green rating signifying that a quantifiable level of engagement in that aspect of QA has been achieved.
The proposed EQF is a powerful tool that focuses the limited time available for departmental QA on areas of practice where a change in patient experience or outcome is most likely to occur.