Abstract 18009: Clinical-officer Led Echocardiographic Screening is Sensitive for Diagnosing Rheumatic Heart Disease in Malawi, Africa
Malawi, Africa has a high prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Echocardiographic (echo) screening for RHD in asymptomatic children may enable early diagnosis and treatment in order to prevent progression of RHD. Malawi has few physicians, and no pediatric cardiologists in the country. Therefore, physician-led RHD screening is not feasible. Clinical officers (CO’s) are mid-level providers who may be able to perform RHD echo screening.
Hypothesis: After training, CO’s will have similar results in identifying RHD by echocardiography as a pediatric cardiologist.
Methods: 8 CO’s with no previous echo experience completed 3 half-days of didactic and computer-module based training as well as 2 days of clinical attachments at a local school. On the attachments, CO’s completed an average of 60 mentored RHD screening echos with a Philips portable CX50 echo machine. CO’s were evaluated by performing screening echos on 20 children with and without RHD who were screened in the previous year. They indicated whether the children should be referred for follow-up. Screening protocol called for referral if a mitral regurgitation jet measured more than 1.5 cm or an aortic regurgitation jet measured more than 1 cm. Kappa statistic was calculated based on agreement with a pediatric cardiologist’s screening result (referral vs. no referral). Sensitivity and specificity were estimated using a generalized linear mixed model.
Results: The mean kappa statistic comparing CO reads to the pediatric cardiologist was 0.72 (95% CI: 0.62, 0.82). Kappa ranged from a minimum of 0.57 to a maximum of 0.90. Overall, sensitivity was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.86, 0.95), and specificity was 0.80 (95% CI: 0.68, 0.88).
Conclusion: There is substantial agreement between the CO and pediatric cardiologist diagnoses. In addition, CO’s had a high sensitivity in detecting RHD. With short-course training, CO-led echo screening for RHD is a viable alternative to physician-led screening in resource-limited settings.
Author Disclosures: A.E. Sims: None. C.A. Sable: None. M. Hosseinipour: None. M. Karlsten: None. P.N. Kazembe: None. C.G. Minard: None. D.J. Penny: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.