Neonatologist performed echocardiography (NPE) in Italian neonatal intensive care units: a national survey

Study Group of Neonatal Cardiology of the Italian Society of Neonatology

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BACKGROUND: Neonatologist performed echocardiography (NPE) has increasingly been used to assess the hemodynamic status in neonates. Aim of this survey was to investigate the utilization of NPE in Italian neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). METHODS: We conducted an on-line survey from June to September 2017. A questionnaire was developed by the Italian neonatal cardiology study group and was sent to each Italian NICU. RESULTS: The response rate was 77%. In 94% of Italian NICUs functional echocardiography was used by neonatologists, cardiologists or both (57, 15 and 28% respectively). All the respondents used NPE in neonates with patent ductus arteriosus and persistent pulmonary hypertension, 93% in neonates with hypotension or shock, 85% in neonates with perinatal asphyxia, 78% in suspicion of cardiac tamponade, and 73% for line positioning. In 30% of center, there was no NPE protocol. Structural echocardiography in stable and critically ill neonates was performed exclusively by neonatologists in 46 and 36% of center respectively. CONCLUSIONS: NPE is widely used in Italian NICUs by neonatologists. Structural echocardiography is frequently performed by neonatologists. Institutional protocols for NPE are lacking. There is an urgent need of a formal training process and accreditation to standardize the use of NPE.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 22 2019


  • Functional echocardiography
  • Neonatal cardiology
  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Neonatologist performed echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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