News | October 03, 2011

New Standards for Echocardiography in the NICU Could Improve Treatment for Newborns

October 3, 2011 —The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) has published guidelines for new applications for echocardiography in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). An expert consensus statement, “Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Practice Guidelines and Recommendations for Training,” has been published in the October 2011 issue of JASE, the ASE’s monthly journal, and is also available online at: www.asecho/guidelines. The document defines the scope and appropriateness of echocardiography in the NICU and defines standards for both the echocardiographic examination and the individuals who perform and interpret these studies.

Previously, nearly all echocardiography studies in the NICU were performed by pediatric cardiologists to diagnose or monitor congenital heart disease and to screen for patent ductus arteriosus (a condition in which a blood vessel fails to close normally after birth).  Now, neonatologists have become interested in echocardiographic assessment.  A targeted neonatal echo (TNE) is being used by neonatologists to help them understand the factors contributing to hemodynamic instability in preterm infants.  

TNE has caused a lot of enthusiasm in the NICU world, resulting in more and more neonatologists performing echocardiograms.  As such, the ASE, in concert with other professional societies, felt the need to establish practice guidelines.  “The aim of this document is to clearly define the current indications and standards for echocardiography in the NICU. We also needed to define the training requirements for neonatologists to make it a safe technique,” explained Luc Mertens, M.D., Ph.D., FASE, FESC, lead author of the document.

Currently, the neonatologist’s hemodynamic monitoring is mainly based on blood pressure measurements and treatment of low blood pressure. There is, however, a lack of insight on the different mechanisms causing low blood pressure, and there are no defined thresholds for therapeutic interventions.  As the field continues to gather scientific evidence to support this usage, preliminary results show promise, but there are concerns.  “With the rapidly growing use of echocardiography in this setting, this document is fundamental to the appropriate practice of this modality in premature infants and should lead to enhanced quality of care and improved detection and treatment of congenital heart disease in these neonates,” said Benjamin W. Eidem, M.D., FASE, of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic and chairman of ASE’s Council on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.

The ASE collaborated with the European Association of Echocardiography (EAE) and the Association for European Pediatric Cardiologists (AEPC) to produce the consensus statement. “The support of these leading pediatric organizations is indicative of the need for and importance of these standards,” Mertens noted.

For more information: www.aesecho.org

 

Related Content

Appropriate Use Criteria Published for Valvular Heart Disease Imaging Tests
News | Clinical Decision Support| October 16, 2017
The American College of Cardiology (ACC), along with several partnering societies, recently released appropriate use...
ASNC and ASE Team Up to Expand ImageGuide Registry
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| October 12, 2017
The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) jointly announced...
Videos | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| October 12, 2017
Sharon Mulvagh, M.D., FRCPC, FACC, FAHA, FASE, professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Dalhouse Un
Medtronic Announces Post-Market Study for CoreValve Evolut Pro System
News | Heart Valve Technology| October 02, 2017
Medtronic plc recently announced a new post-market clinical study to evaluate its CoreValve Evolut Pro valve in...
Edwards Inspiris Resilia Valve Receives FDA Approval
News | Heart Valve Technology| September 21, 2017
Edwards Lifesciences Corp. recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Inspiris Resilia...
Sentinel Cerebral Protection System Significantly Reduces Stroke and Mortality in TAVR
News | Embolic Protection Devices| September 18, 2017
September 18, 2017 – Claret Medical announced publication of a new study in the...
Videos | Structural Heart Occluders| September 13, 2017
Ziyad Hijazi, M.D., MPH, MSCAI, FACC, director of the cardiac program and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Si
Vascular screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and hypertension during the VIVA Study in Denmark

Vascular screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and hypertension during the VIVA Study. Photo credit: Lisbeth Hasager Justesen, Viborg Hospital.

News | Cardiac Diagnostics| September 12, 2017
September 12, 2017 — A new screening program for vascular disease saves one life for every 169 men assessed, accordin
TCT 2017 late-breaking trials and studies that will be presented on the latest cardiology technology clinical trials.
Feature | September 11, 2017
September 11, 2017 — From numerous high-quality submissions, Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) has sele
LAA closure during open heart surgery in the LAACS Study showed better outcomes for all patients.

LAA closure during open heart surgery in the LAACS Study showed better outcomes for all patients.

Feature | Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Occluders| September 07, 2017
September 7, 2017 — Closure of the left atrial appendage (LAA) during heart surgery protects the brain, according to
Overlay Init