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2020, vol. 148, iss. 7-8, pp. 430-435
Current echocardiography practice in Serbia: A national survey by the Echocardiographic Society of Serbia
aUniversity of Novi Sad, Faculty of Medicine + University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Medicine, Institute for Cardiovascular Disease
bUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Medicine + Clinical Center of Serbia, Clinic for Cardiology, Belgrade
cUniversity of Defence, Faculty of Medicine of the Military Medical Academy, Belgrade + Military Medical Academy, Belgrade
dUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Medicine + University of Belgrade, Faculty of Medicine, Clinical Center 'Zemun'
Introduction/Objective The purpose of the Echocardiographic Society of Serbia (ECHOS) national survey was to assess current echocardiography practice in Serbia, the availability of different echocardiographic techniques and self-perceived need for improvement at personal and institutional level. Methods A survey comprising 20 questions about demographics, numbers and distribution of echocardiographic equipment and techniques, image acquisition and reporting standards as well as future educational preferences was sent to all ECHOS members via email. Results A total of 106 members (42%) answered the survey. Echocardiographic examinations are most frequently performed by cardiologists and internal medicine specialists. Transesophageal echocardiography (TOE), stress echocardiography (SECHO) and speckle tracking echocardiography (SpTE) are available in approximately 20% of centers, three-dimensional echocardiography in 11%, while contrast echocardiography is practiced in only two centers. Less than a third of respondents always attach electrocardiographic electrodes and archive examinations. Almost all respondents (96%), always evaluate both systolic and diastolic function of the left ventricle (LV), although systolic LV function is frequently assessed (55%) using non-standard methods. The newer echocardiographic machines are more often available at university than non-university centers (87 versus 44%, p < 0.01). SECHO was perceived as the most needed technique at the institutional level, while SpTE and TOE were most often reported personal aspirations of the respondents. Conclusion Advanced techniques, SECHO and TOE are needed but rarely performed outside the university hospitals in Serbia. In order to achieve a better adherence to standards of practice in echocardiography, the development of national guidelines and personal and laboratory accreditation seem warranted.
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article language: English
document type: Original Paper
DOI: 10.2298/SARH200125032S
published in SCIndeks: 02/09/2020

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