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Point of care ultrasonography from the emergency department to the internal medicine ward: current trends and perspectives

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Abstract

The advent of portable devices in the early 80s has brought ultrasonography to the patient’s bedside. Currently referred to as ‘point of care ultrasonography’ (POCUS), it has become an essential tool for clinicians. Initially developed in the emergency and critical care settings, POCUS has gained increasing importance in internal medicine wards in the last decade, with both its growing diagnostic accuracy and portability making POCUS an optimal instrument for everyday clinical assessment and procedures. There is large body of evidence to confirm POCUS’ superiority when compared to clinical examination and standard X-ray imaging in a variety of clinical situations. On the contrary, only few indications, such as procedural guidance, have a proven additional benefit for patients. Since POCUS is highly user-dependent, pre- and post-graduate curricula are needed and the range of use should be clearly defined. This review focuses on trends and perspectives of POCUS in the management of diseases frequently encountered in emergency and internal medicine. In addition, questions are raised regarding the teaching and supervision of POCUS needing to be addressed in the near future.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Tamara Mann for correcting grammatical errors of the manuscript. AL and OG thank Pr Thierry Fumeaux and Dr Damien Tagan for the E-learning elaboration.

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The idea for this article originally came from OG. AL carried out the literature search, and conceptualized and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors have read, critically revised and approved the final version of this manuscript.

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Supplementary file1 Sensitivity, specificity and reference list of diagnostic point-of-care ultrasonography (PDF 199 kb)

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Leidi, A., Rouyer, F., Marti, C. et al. Point of care ultrasonography from the emergency department to the internal medicine ward: current trends and perspectives. Intern Emerg Med 15, 395–408 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11739-020-02284-5

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