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Bedside Ultrasound Identifies Congestive Heart Failure

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Sierra Beck, MD, RDMS, Emory University Identifier:
First received: January 29, 2009
Last updated: December 12, 2013
Last verified: December 2013

Patients often arrive to the Emergency Department with the chief complaint of shortness of breath. The cause of the shortness of breath may be due to many things, such as pneumonia, emphysema, a heart attack, heart failure, and others. It is often very difficult for the physician to determine the cause of the shortness of breath in the first two hours in the Emergency Department. This ambiguity makes treating the patient very difficult. Although a patient could benefit from treatment upon arrival, the emergent treatment of the condition must wait until a final diagnosis is made.

Recently, emergency physicians have been using portable ultrasound at the patient's bedside to diagnose numerous conditions, including trauma, blood clots, kidney stones, etc. Recent research suggests that heart failure, one of the causes of shortness of breath, may be diagnosed within 5 minutes or less using ultrasound. Most of these studies come from the intensive care and cardiology. However, no research has yet been performed to determine if emergency physicians can effectively use ultrasound to quickly diagnose and treat heart failure within the first few minutes of a patient's arrival to the emergency department. The hypothesis of this study is to evaluate the ability of residents in emergency medicine to use ultrasound to diagnose patients in heart failure who presented with the chief complaint of shortness of breath. The final diagnosis of the patient upon discharge from the hospital will be compared to the preliminary diagnosis based on the portable ultrasound findings.

Heart Failure Dyspnea

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Emergency Physician-Performed Thoracic Ultrasound Rapidly Identifies Patients With Congestive Heart Failure

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Sierra Beck, MD, RDMS, Emory University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • sensitivity and specificity of the ultrasound lung rockets to predict congestive heart failure [ Time Frame: One year ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • comparison of the BNP with the thoracic ultrasound findings [ Time Frame: One year ]

Enrollment: 375
Study Start Date: February 2009
Study Completion Date: February 2011
Primary Completion Date: February 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Congestive Heart Failure
Patients without congestive heart failure


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Patients presenting to the Emergency Care Center with the chief complaint of shortness of breath or dyspnea will be eligible for the study.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • age > 18
  • presenting complaint of shortness of breath or dyspnea

Exclusion Criteria:

  • prisoners
  • pregnant women
  • shortness of breath clearly secondary to another diagnosis (i.e. trauma)
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00833144

United States, Georgia
Grady Memorial Hospital
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30303
Sponsors and Collaborators
Emory University
Principal Investigator: William Manson, MD Emory University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Sierra Beck, MD, RDMS, Assistant Professor, Emory University Identifier: NCT00833144     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IRB00015895
2008125 ( Other Identifier: Other )
Study First Received: January 29, 2009
Last Updated: December 12, 2013

Keywords provided by Sierra Beck, MD, RDMS, Emory University:
heart failure

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Heart Failure
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Respiration Disorders
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Signs and Symptoms, Respiratory
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on September 19, 2017