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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2011, Article ID 483242, 5 pages
Clinical Study

A Brief Training Module Improves Recognition of Echocardiographic Wall-Motion Abnormalities by Emergency Medicine Physicians

Department of Emergency Medicine, Advocate Christ Medical Center, 4440 West 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL 60453, USA

Received 30 December 2010; Accepted 9 May 2011

Academic Editor: Theodore J. Gaeta

Copyright © 2011 Chris Kerwin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Wall-motion abnormality on echocardiogram is more sensitive in detecting cardiac ischemia than the electrocardiogram, but the use of bedside echocardiography by emergency physicians (EPs) for this purpose does not appear to be widespread, apparently due to limited data on proficiency of EPs for this task. We sought to determine the effect of a brief training module on the ability of EPs to recognize wall motion abnormalities on echocardiograms. Methods. We developed a brief training and testing module and presented it to EPs. After baseline testing of 15 echocardiograms, we presented the 30-minute training module, and administered a new test of 15 different echocardiograms. Physicians were asked to interpret the wall motion as normal or abnormal. Results. 35 EPs over two separate sessions showed significant improvement recognition of wall-motion abnormalities after the brief training module. Median score on the baseline test was 67%, interquartile range (IQR) 53% to 80%, while the median score on the posttraining test was 87%, IQR 80% to 87%, 𝑃 < . 0 0 1 , independent of time in practice or prior training. Conclusion. With only brief training on how to recognize wall motion abnormalities on echocardiograms, EPs showed significant improvement in ability to identify wall motion abnormalities.