Guidelines for optimal physician training in echocardiography Recommendations of the American Society of Echocardiography Committee for Physician training in Echocardiography
Echocardiography, Doppler, Color
Heart Valve Diseases
Over the past few years, the clinical use of echocardiography has continued to expand. Echocardiographic techniques are used widely to define normal and abnormal cardiac anatomy, evaluate cardiac chamber sizes and dynamics, assess valvular and pericardial diseases, detect intracavitary masses, measure pressure gradients across discrete stenoses, determine flow volumes, detect and assess the severity of valvular regurgitation, demonstrate and quantitate intracardiac shunts, and measure the timing of cardiac events. These and related applications have led to the increasing use of echocardiography in the diagnostic evaluation of many cardiac disorders. Echocardiography requires considerable theoretical knowledge, technical skill and practical experience to be used in an optimal manner. Previous publications have suggested guidelines for physician training in the techniques of M-mode and 2-dimensional echocardiography. The clinical applications of echocardiography continue to grow, however, and Doppler techniques for evaluating blood flow have become an established component of the echocardiographic evaluation of many disorders. This article presents the current recommendations of the American Society of Echocardiography as to the background knowledge, the nature and amount of practical experience, and the type of training site that are optimal for the training of physicians who take responsibility for the conduct and interpretation of echocardiographic studies.