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Tool to Improve Qualitative Assessment of Left Ventricular Systolic Function


Interactive online learning tools have revolutionized graduate medical education and can impart echocardiographic image interpretive skills. We created self-paced, interactive online training modules using a repository of echocardiography videos of normal and various degrees of abnormal left ventricles. In this study, we tested the feasibility of this learning tool. Thirteen anesthesia interns took a pre-test and then had 3 weeks to complete the training modules on their own time before taking a post-test. The average score on the post-test (74.6% ± 11.08%) was higher than the average score on the pre-test (57.7% ± 9.27%) (P < 0.001). Scores did not differ between extreme function (severe dysfunction or hyperdynamic function) and non-extreme function (normal function or mild or moderate dysfunction) questions on both the pre-test (P = 0.278) and post-test (P = 0.093). The interns scored higher on the post-test than the pre-test on both extreme (P = 0.0062) and non-extreme (P = 0.0083) questions. After using an online educational tool that allowed learning on their own time and pace, trainees improved their ability to correctly categorize left ventricular systolic function. Left ventricular systolic function is often a key echocardiographic question that can be difficult to master. The promising performance of this educational resource may lead to more time- and cost-effective methods for improving diagnostic accuracy among learners.


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The authors would like to thank the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine and the Center for Anesthesia Research Excellence (CARE) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for their support of the study. They would also like to thank the anesthesia residents who participated in the study.


This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sector.

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Correspondence to Daniel P. Walsh MD or Vanessa T. Wong BS.

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Walsh, D.P., Murugappan, K.R., Oren-Grinberg, A. et al. Tool to Improve Qualitative Assessment of Left Ventricular Systolic Function. Echo Res Pract 7, 1–8 (2020).

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Key Words

  • left ventricle
  • left ventricular
  • left ventricular function
  • left ventricular assessment
  • left ventricular systolic function
  • systolic function
  • online resource
  • interactive resource
  • education
  • echocardiography
  • image interpretation
  • anesthesia
  • residents