A practical approach to goal-directed echocardiography in the critical care setting. Critical Care 2014, 18: 681
Walley, P.E., et al.
Urgent cardiac ultrasound examination in the critical care setting is clinically useful. Application of goal-directed echocardiography in this setting is quite distinct from typical exploratory diagnostic comprehensive echocardiography, because the urgent critical care setting mandates a goal-directed approach. Goal-directed echocardiography most frequently aims to rapidly identify and differentiate the cause(s) of hemodynamic instability and/or the cause(s) of acute respiratory failure. Accordingly, this paper highlights 1) indications, 2) an easily memorized differential diagnostic framework for goal-directed echocardiography, 3) clinical questions that must be asked and answered, 4) practical issues to allow optimal image capture, 5) primary echocardiographic views, 6) key issues addressed in each view, and 7) interpretation of findings within the differential diagnostic framework.