Background: Recent literature has suggested echocardiography (echo) may prolong pauses in chest compressions during cardiac arrest. Objectves: We sought to determine the impact of the sonographic approach (subxiphoid [SX] vs. parasternal long [PSL]) on time to image completion, image quality, and visualization of cardiac anatomy during echo, as performed during Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Methods: This was a multicenter, randomized controlled trial conducted at 29 emergency departments (EDs) assessing the time to image acquisition and image quality between SX and PSL views for echo. Patients were enrolled in the ED and imaged in a simulated cardiac arrest scenario. Clinicians experienced in echo performed both SX and PSL views, first view in random order. Image quality and time to image acquisition were recorded. Echos were evaluated for identification of cardiac landmarks. Data are presented as percentages or medians with interquartile ranges (IQRs). Results: We obtained 6247 echo images, comprising 3124 SX views and 3123 PSL. Overall time to image acquisition was 9.0 s (IQR 6.7–14.1 s). Image acquisition was shorter using PSL (8.8 s, IQR 6.5–13.5 s) compared with SX (9.3 s, IQR 6.7–15.0 s). The image quality was better with the PSL view (3.86 vs. 3.54; p < 0.0001), twice as many SX images scoring in the worst quality category compared with PSL (8.6% vs. 3.7%). Imaging of the pericardium, cardiac chambers, and other anatomic landmarks was superior with PSL imaging. Conclusions: Echo was performed in < 10 s in > 50% of patients using either imaging technique. Imaging using PSL demonstrated improved image quality and improved identification of cardiac landmarks.
- cardiac arrest
- parasternal long