This study demonstrates that echocardiography can be expeditiously performed among patients suffering from acute respiratory distress. However, indiscriminate (random) echo among clinically comparable patients was not shown to significantly alter their clinical diagnosis, diagnostic or therapeutic management, hospital stay, or mortality. buy antibiotics online
To our knowledge, only one study has assessed the value of echocardiography in the evaluation of dyspnea. Similar to our findings, this study reported that what was presumed clinically to be cardiac dyspnea was frequently corroborated by echocardiographic evidence of cardiac dysfunction. In up to 17 percent of our patients, however, information obtained by echo provided new data as to the cause of a patient’s respiratory complaint; this clearly differed from the impression presumably formed from other clinical criteria. Despite such new insight, diagnosis and management were rarely altered. The overall impact of echo testing thus appears to have been negated or diffused by other factors. In some patients, for example, echo findings may have been superfluous because insight (or presumption) as to cardiac function had already been obtained from available clinical data, and echo data, accordingly, ignored. It may also be possible that some patients with respiratory complaints responded to the empiric institution of cardiac-specific, pulmonary-specific, or “shotgun” (combined) therapy, regardless of the true cause of their ailment. Thus, echo findings may have recognized or reinforced certain diagnoses, but even if contradicting the clinical diagnosis, infrequently either expedited or changed patient treatment.