Publications by authors named "M Blaivas"

280 Publications

International consensus conference recommendations on ultrasound education for undergraduate medical students.

Ultrasound J 2022 Jul 27;14(1):31. Epub 2022 Jul 27.

Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to provide expert consensus recommendations to establish a global ultrasound curriculum for undergraduate medical students.

Methods: 64 multi-disciplinary ultrasound experts from 16 countries, 50 multi-disciplinary ultrasound consultants, and 21 medical students and residents contributed to these recommendations. A modified Delphi consensus method was used that included a systematic literature search, evaluation of the quality of literature by the GRADE system, and the RAND appropriateness method for panel judgment and consensus decisions. The process included four in-person international discussion sessions and two rounds of online voting.

Results: A total of 332 consensus conference statements in four curricular domains were considered: (1) curricular scope (4 statements), (2) curricular rationale (10 statements), (3) curricular characteristics (14 statements), and (4) curricular content (304 statements). Of these 332 statements, 145 were recommended, 126 were strongly recommended, and 61 were not recommended. Important aspects of an undergraduate ultrasound curriculum identified include curricular integration across the basic and clinical sciences and a competency and entrustable professional activity-based model. The curriculum should form the foundation of a life-long continuum of ultrasound education that prepares students for advanced training and patient care. In addition, the curriculum should complement and support the medical school curriculum as a whole with enhanced understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiological processes and clinical practice without displacing other important undergraduate learning. The content of the curriculum should be appropriate for the medical student level of training, evidence and expert opinion based, and include ongoing collaborative research and development to ensure optimum educational value and patient care.

Conclusions: The international consensus conference has provided the first comprehensive document of recommendations for a basic ultrasound curriculum. The document reflects the opinion of a diverse and representative group of international expert ultrasound practitioners, educators, and learners. These recommendations can standardize undergraduate medical student ultrasound education while serving as a basis for additional research in medical education and the application of ultrasound in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13089-022-00279-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9329507PMC
July 2022

Machine learning algorithm using publicly available echo database for simplified "visual estimation" of left ventricular ejection fraction.

World J Exp Med 2022 Mar 20;12(2):16-25. Epub 2022 Mar 20.

Department of Environmental Science, Michigan State University, Roswell, Georgia 30076, United States.

Background: Left ventricular ejection fraction calculation automation typically requires complex algorithms and is dependent of optimal visualization and tracing of endocardial borders. This significantly limits usability in bedside clinical applications, where ultrasound automation is needed most.

Aim: To create a simple deep learning (DL) regression-type algorithm to visually estimate left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) from a public database of actual patient echo examinations and compare results to echocardiography laboratory EF calculations.

Methods: A simple DL architecture previously proven to perform well on ultrasound image analysis, VGG16, was utilized as a base architecture running within a long short term memory algorithm for sequential image (video) analysis. After obtaining permission to use the Stanford EchoNet-Dynamic database, researchers randomly removed approximately 15% of the approximately 10036 echo apical 4-chamber videos for later performance testing. All database echo examinations were read as part of comprehensive echocardiography study performance and were coupled with EF, end systolic and diastolic volumes, key frames and coordinates for LV endocardial tracing in csv file. To better reflect point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) clinical settings and time pressure, the algorithm was trained on echo video correlated with calculated ejection fraction without incorporating additional volume, measurement and coordinate data. Seventy percent of the original data was used for algorithm training and 15% for validation during training. The previously randomly separated 15% (1263 echo videos) was used for algorithm performance testing after training completion. Given the inherent variability of echo EF measurement and field standards for evaluating algorithm accuracy, mean absolute error (MAE) and root mean square error (RMSE) calculations were made on algorithm EF results compared to Echo Lab calculated EF. Bland-Atlman calculation was also performed. MAE for skilled echocardiographers has been established to range from 4% to 5%.

Results: The DL algorithm visually estimated EF had a MAE of 8.08% (95%CI 7.60 to 8.55) suggesting good performance compared to highly skill humans. The RMSE was 11.98 and correlation of 0.348.

Conclusion: This experimental simplified DL algorithm showed promise and proved reasonably accurate at visually estimating LV EF from short real time echo video clips. Less burdensome than complex DL approaches used for EF calculation, such an approach may be more optimal for POCUS settings once improved upon by future research and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5493/wjem.v12.i2.16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8968469PMC
March 2022

Tele-ultrasound in the Era of COVID-19: A Practical Guide.

Ultrasound Med Biol 2022 06 10;48(6):965-974. Epub 2022 Jan 10.

Department of Internal Medicine, Clinics Beau-Site, Salem and Permanence, Bern, Switzerland.

Telemedicine has evolved over the past 50 years, with video consultations and telehealth (TH) mobile apps that are now widely used to support care in the management of chronic conditions, but are infrequently used in acute conditions such as emergencies. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand is growing for video consultations as they minimize health provider-patient interactions and thereby the risk of infection. Advanced applications such as tele-ultrasound (TUS) have not yet gained a foothold despite their achieving technical maturity and the availability of software from numerous companies for TUS for their respective portable ultrasound devices. However, ultrasound is indispensable for triage in emergencies and also offers distinct advantages in the diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia for certain patient populations such as pregnant women, children and immobilized patients. Additionally, recent work suggests lung ultrasound can accurately risk stratify patients for likely infection when immediate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is not available and has prognostic utility for positive patients with respect to the need for admission and intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. Though currently underutilized, a wider implementation of TUS in TH applications and processes may be an important stepping-stone for telemedicine. The addition of ultrasound to TH may allow it to cross the barrier from being an application used mainly for primary care and chronic conditions to an indispensable tool used in emergency care, disaster situations, remote areas and low-income countries where it is difficult to obtain high-quality diagnostic imaging. The objective of this review was to provide an overview of the current state of telemedicine, insights into current and future use scenarios, its practical application as well as current TUS uses and their potential value with an overview of currently available portable and handheld ultrasound devices. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic we point out an unmet need and use case of TUS as a supportive tool for health care providers and organizations in the management of affected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2022.01.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8743597PMC
June 2022

WFUMB Technological Review: How to Perform Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound of the Lung.

Ultrasound Med Biol 2022 04 20;48(4):598-616. Epub 2022 Jan 20.

Department Allgemeine Innere Medizin (DAIM), Kliniken Hirslanden Bern, Beau Site, Salem und Permanence, Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address:

The use of ultrasound has revolutionized the evaluation of pulmonary complaints and pathology. Historically, most lung ultrasound uses described are limited to B-mode, M-mode and occasionally color Doppler. However, the use of contrast can significantly expand the diagnostic capabilities of lung ultrasound. Ultrasound contrast enables significant expansion of therapeutic and intervention capabilities. We provide a detailed description of contrast administration, phases and uses in lung ultrasound. Additionally provided are example contrast use cases and illustrative examples of contrast use in a wide range of lung ultrasound applications including pneumonia, atelectasis, pulmonary embolism and neoplasms. Clinical practice examples will help providers incorporate contrast use into their lung ultrasound practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2021.11.014DOI Listing
April 2022

Early Lung Ultrasound Findings in Patients With COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Retrospective Multicenter Study of 479 Patients.

J Ultrasound Med 2022 Jan 18. Epub 2022 Jan 18.

Medical Department, APSS, Trento, Italy.

Objectives: Lung ultrasound (LUS) holds the promise of an accurate, radiation-free, and affordable diagnostic and monitoring tool in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia. We sought to evaluate the usefulness of LUS in the diagnosis of patients with respiratory distress and suspicion of interstitial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia, in comparison to other imaging modalities.

Methods: This was a multicenter, retrospective study. LUS was performed, on Emergency Department (ED) arrival of patients presenting for possible COVID-19 evaluation, by trained emergency physicians, before undergoing conventional radiologic examination or while waiting for the report. Scans were performed using longitudinal transducer orientation of the lung regions. CXR was interpreted by radiologists staffing ED radiology. Subjects were divided into two group based on molecular test results. LUS findings were compared to COVID test results, nonlaboratory data, and other imaging for each patient. Categorical variables were expressed as percentages and continuous variables as median ± standard error.

Results: A total of 479 patients were enrolled, 87% diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 by molecular testing. COVID positive and COVID negative patients differed with respect to sex, presence of fever, and white blood cells count. Most common findings on lung point of care ultrasound (POCUS) for COVID-positive patients were B-lines, irregular pleural lines, and small consolidation. Normal chest X-ray was found in 17.89% of cases.

Conclusions: This 479 patient cohort, with COVID-19, found LUS to be noninferior to chest X-ray (CXR) for diagnostic accuracy. In this study, COVID-positive patients are most likely to show B lines and sub-pleural consolidations on LUS examination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jum.15944DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9015547PMC
January 2022
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