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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Visual Estimation of Tricuspid Annular Plane Systolic Excursion by Emergency Medicine Clinicians

  • Author(s): Duanmu, Youyou
  • Goldsmith, Andrew J.
  • Henwood, Patricia C.
  • Platz, Elke
  • Hoyler, Janet E.
  • Kimberly, Heidi H.
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Introduction: Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) is an established echocardiographic marker of right ventricular (RV) systolic function. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether emergency clinicians can visually estimate RV function using TAPSE in a set of video clips compared to a reference standard M-mode measurement.

Methods: Emergency clinicians were shown a five-minute educational video on TAPSE. Participants then viewed 20 apical four-chamber point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) echocardiography clips and recorded their estimate of TAPSE distance in centimeters (cm), as well as whether TAPSE was normal (>1.9 cm), borderline (1.5-1.9 cm), or abnormal (<1.5 cm). We calculated sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy of visual TAPSE categorization using M-mode measurement as the criterion standard. Participants also reported their comfort with assessing TAPSE on a five-point Likert scale before and after participation in the study.

Results: Among 70 emergency clinicians, including 20 postgraduate year 1-4 residents, 22 attending physicians, and 28 physician assistants (PA), the pooled sensitivity and specificity for visual assessment of TAPSE was 88.6% (95% confidence interval, 85.4-91.7%) and 81.6% (95% CI, 78.2-84.4%), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for the clips in which the measured TAPSE was <1.5 cm or >1.9 cm was 91.4% (95% CI, 88.4-94.3%) and 90.8% (95% CI, 87.7-93.9%), respectively. There was no significant difference in sensitivity (p = 0.27) or specificity (p = 0.55) between resident and attending physicians or between physicians and PAs (p = 0.17 and p = 0.81). Median self-reported comfort with TAPSE assessment increased from 1 (interquartile range [IQR] 1-2) to 3 (IQR 3-4) points after participation in the study.

Conclusion: A wide range of emergency clinicians demonstrated fair accuracy for visual estimation of TAPSE on previously recorded POCUS echocardiography video clips. These findings should be considered hypothesis generating and warrant validation in larger, prospective studies.


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