When applying echo-Doppler imaging for either clinical or research purposes it is very important to select the most adequate modality/technology and choose the most reliable and reproducible measurements. Quality control is a mainstay to reduce variability among institutions and operators and must be obtained by using appropriate procedures for data acquisition, storage and interpretation of echo-Doppler data. This goal can be achieved by employing an echo core laboratory (ECL), with the responsibility for standardizing image acquisition processes (performed at the peripheral echo-labs) and analysis (by monitoring and optimizing the internal intra- and inter-reader variability of measurements). Accordingly, the Working Group of Echocardiography of the Italian Society of Cardiology decided to design standardized procedures for imaging acquisition in peripheral laboratories and reading procedures and to propose a methodological approach to assess the reproducibility of echo-Doppler parameters of cardiac structure and function by using both standard and advanced technologies. A number of cardiologists experienced in cardiac ultrasound was involved to set up an ECL available for future studies involving complex imaging or including echo-Doppler measures as primary or secondary efficacy or safety end-points. The present manuscript describes the methodology of the procedures (imaging acquisition and measurement reading) and provides the documentation of the work done so far to test the reproducibility of the different echo-Doppler modalities (standard and advanced). These procedures can be suggested for utilization also in non referall echocardiographic laboratories as an "inside" quality check, with the aim at optimizing clinical consistency of echo-Doppler data.
- Clinical trials
- Doppler echocardiography
- Echo core laboratory
- Quality control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging