Detailed EFSUM recommendations on the scope of ultrasound assessment in patients with portal hypertension considering the diagnostic reference level
Andrzej Smereczyński, Katarzyna Kołaczyk
Department of Genetics and Pathomorphology of the Pomeranian Medical University, Self-Education Ultrasound Study Group, Szczecin, Poland
Correspondence: Andrzej Smereczyński, ul. Wojciechowskiego 6 A, 71-476 Szczecin,
tel. +48 91 454 22 17, e-mail: email@example.com
An important paper describing the Standards of the Polish Ultrasound Society regarding the assessment of portal and hepatic vasculature was published in the Journal of Ultrasonography. Due to the multiplicity of morphological and hemodynamic data required, the time needed to obtain these data and the legal responsibility of doctors for the results, there seems to be a need to determine a clear range of the assessed parameters depending on the reference level of a given healthcare facility. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to transfer the recommendations of the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, which determine the range of the evaluated ultrasonographic parameters in portal hypertension depending on the diagnostic reference level, into Polish reality. European healthcare institutions are characterized by a clear three-level reference network. Due to the lack of a similar division in Poland, we propose our own classification of the competence of medical entities. The first reference level: ultrasound assessments in a primary health care setting (performed by GPs, emergency physicians, non-specialist private practice physicians, non-specialist practice physicians); at least one mid-class ultrasound scanner with pulsed and color Doppler options, equipped with convex 3–5 MHz and linear 7–12 MHz transducers should be available at physician’s disposal. The second reference level: ultrasound assessments in the hospital setting and specialist outpatient clinics, performed by specialist private practice physicians, radiologists, gastroenterologists and hepatologists; top class (premium) digital ultrasound scanner should be available at physician’s disposal. Third reference level: ultrasound assessments performed in gastroenterology, hepatology and liver surgery departments as well as their specialist outpatient clinics; physicians should use top class digital ultrasound equipment. At every reference level, physicians performing abdominal ultrasound should have the appropriate certification to perform such an assessment or specialize in gastrointestinal diagnosis.