Echocardiography is the foundation for diagnostic cardiac testing, allowing for direct identification and management of various conditions. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has emerged as an invaluable tool for bedside diagnosis and management. The objective of this review is to address the current use and clinical applicability of POCUS to identify, triage, and manage a wide spectrum of cardiac conditions. POCUS can change diagnosis and management decisions of various cardiovascular conditions in a range of settings. In the outpatient setting, it is used to risk stratify and diagnose a variety of medical conditions. In the emergency department (ED) and critical care settings, it is used to guide triage and critical care interventions. Furthermore, the skills needed to perform POCUS can be taught to noncardiologists in a way that is retained and allows identification of normal and grossly abnormal cardiac findings. Various curricula have been developed that teach residents and advanced learners how to appropriately employ point-of-care ultrasound. In conclusion, POCUS can be a useful adjunct to the physical exam, particularly in critical care applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine