Questionnaire survey on the state of routine echocardiographic examination in Japan

K. Kajihara, M. Iwase, K. Sugimoto, S. Itou, H. Utsugi, M. Kimura, H. Yamamoto, A. Koide, H. Matsuyama, H. Hishida

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Questionnaires sent to 35 representative institutes in Japan were returned by 33 (94%). In 61% of the responding institutes, more than half of the routine echocardiographic examinations were performed by sonographers; in 27% of these institutes, they were performed mainly by physicians. Forty-nine percent of the respondents spent 20 to 30 minutes examining one patient; the second-most-frequent (21%) response was 30 to 45 minutes. In 71% of the institutes, echocardiographic reports included sonographers' comments. Every case was recorded on videotape in 27 (82%) institutes. Left ventricular dimensions and wall thickness were determined by M-mode in 15% of the institutes; 70% indicated that they primarily used M-mode but sometimes used two-dimensional echocardiography. Left ventricular ejection fraction was measured only or mainly by M-mode in 82% of the examinations and by two- dimensional echocardiography in 18%. The pulsed Doppler method was used to evaluate left ventricular inflow in all cases in 79% of the institutes, and the continuous wave Doppler method was used to determine the pressure gradient of tricuspid regurgitation in all cases at 73% of the institutes. In contrast, quantitative Doppler was always used to routinely evaluate regurgitation or shunt flow in only 2 (6%) institutes. The Doppler method was always used to measure cardiac output or stroke volume in only 2 (6%) of the institutes. The larger the number of routine echocardiographic examinations conducted at a responding institute, the greater the likelihood that they were conducted by sonographers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-937
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Ultrasonics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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