Accuracy of emergency physician performed bedside ultrasound in determining gestational age in first trimester pregnancy

Turandot Saul, Resa E. Lewiss, Marina del Rios Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Patient reported menstrual history, physician clinical evaluation, and ultrasonography are used to determine gestational age in the pregnant female. Previous studies have shown that pregnancy dating by last menstrual period (LMP) and physical examination findings can be inaccurate. An ultrasound performed in the radiology department is considered the standard for determining an accurate gestational age. The aim of this study is to determine the accuracy of emergency physician performed bedside ultrasound as an estimation of gestational age (EDUGA) as compared to the radiology department standard. Methods: A prospective convenience sample of ED patients presenting in the first trimester of pregnancy (based upon self-reported LMP) regardless of their presenting complaint were enrolled. EDUGA was compared to gestational age estimated by ultrasound performed in the department of radiology (RGA) as the gold standard. Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient was used to determine the correlation between EDUGA compared to RGA. Results: Sixty-eight pregnant patients presumed to be in the 1st trimester of pregnancy based upon self-reported LMP consented to enrollment. When excluding the cases with no fetal pole, the median discrepancy of EDUGA versus RGA was 2 days (interquartile range (IQR) 1 to 3.25). The correlation coefficient of EDUGA with RGA was 0.978. When including the six cases without a fetal pole in the data analysis, the median discrepancy of EDUGA compared with RGA was 3 days (IQR 1 to 4). The correlation coefficient of EDUGA with RGA was 0.945. Conclusion: Based on our comparison of EDUGA to RGA in patients presenting to the ED in the first trimester of pregnancy, we conclude that emergency physicians are capable of accurately performing this measurement. Emergency physicians should consider using ultrasound to estimate gestational age as it may be useful for the future care of that pregnant patient.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalCritical Ultrasound Journal
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bedside ultrasound
  • First trimester pregnancy
  • Gestational age dating

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