Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine| Volume 51, ISSUE 4, P411-417, October 2016

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The Inter-rater Reliability of Echocardiographic Diastolic Function Evaluation Among Emergency Physician Sonographers

Published:September 07, 2016DOI:


      Study Objectives

      In a patient with dyspnea and suspected CHF, the evaluation of diastolic function involves: tissue Doppler of the mitral annulus and 2) pulsed wave Doppler of the mitral inflow. We aimed to 1) determine the inter-rater reliability for overall diastolic function and 2) evaluate the reliability of the individual Doppler measurements.


      A convenience sample of adult emergency department patients was prospectively enrolled by 8 EPs who had participated in a 1-hour didactic session. Patients were selected if they had a history of CHF or suspected abnormal diastolic function due to chronic hypertension. Diastolic function was considered to be abnormal if Tissue Doppler of the septal e′ was <8 cm/s and if the lateral e′ was <10 cm/s. In cases of discordance, the E/e′ ratio was calculated with ≤8 considered normal and >8 considered abnormal. A Kappa coefficient. Bland-Altman plot and a fixed effect regression model were used in the analysis.


      Thirty-two patients were enrolled, and 3 (9.4%) were excluded due to technical inadequacy. The inter-rater reliability among sonographers for overall interpretation was very good: κ = 0.86 (95% CL [0.67, 1.0]). Based on the Bland-Altman plot, was no consistent bias between readers. There was no evidence to conclude that the readings differed among sonographers: septal e′ (p = 0.77), lateral e′ (p = 0.89) and E (p = 0.15).


      EP sonographers obtained similar Doppler measurements for diastolic function evaluation with very good inter-rater reliability for the assessment of overall diastolic function.


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