CONTROVERSY


Summary
The new echocardiography: handheld ultrasound device
The look of the clinical cardiologist
Guillermo Cursack, Atilio Costa-Vitali

Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospitalization in the West and in Argentina, with 25% readmissions within the first month and 10-20% mortality after discharge. Despite numerous clinical trials and different treatment strategies, very little progress was achieved in the last 30 years.
The diagnosis and early treatment of this pathology improves the results and prognosis of patients, where handheld ultrasound devices (HUD) could play a fundamental role.
Ultrasound is the most versatile imaging method of medicine because of its availability, portability, low cost and absence of adverse effects.
These advances in equipment have generated the need to redefine its usefulness, truthfulness and limitations as well as the training and experience that the operator must have in order for its results to be reliable.
Current HUDs, unlike high-end ones, only allow 2D images, color Doppler and some measurement packages, it is important to highlight the recommendations regarding operator training, which include not only ultrasound in general, but also the handling of these portable devices and especially in the pathologies to evaluate, in this case, HF.
There are still several points under investigation, as truthfulness when compared with high-end equipment in certain pathologies or its cost-benefit.
Although portable ultrasound is still underutilized today, it is very likely that in a few years it will be a fundamental tool for the diagnosis and monitoring of many pathologies such as the stethoscope for a long time, especially in HF.

Keywords: Portable echocardiography - Handheld ultrasound device - Echocardiography in heart failure