Impact of point-of-care ultrasound on the hospital length of stay for internal medicine inpatients with cardiopulmonary diagnosis at admission: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial - The IMFCU-1 (Internal Medicine Focused Clinical Ultrasound) study

Ximena Cid*, David Canty, Alistair Royse, Andrea B. Maier, Douglas Johnson, Doa El-Ansary, Sandy Clarke-Errey, Timothy Fazio, Colin Royse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


Background: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is emerging as a reliable and valid clinical tool that impacts diagnosis and clinical decision-making as well as timely intervention for optimal patient management. This makes its utility in patients admitted to internal medicine wards attractive. However, there is still an evidence gap in all the medical setting of how its use affects clinical variables such as length of stay, morbidity, and mortality. Methods/design: A prospective randomized controlled trial assessing the effect of a surface POCUS of the heart, lungs, and femoral and popliteal veins performed by an internal medicine physician during the first 24 h of patient admission to the unit with a presumptive cardiopulmonary diagnosis. The University of Melbourne iHeartScan, iLungScan, and two-point venous compression protocols are followed to identify left and right ventricular function, significant valvular heart disease, pericardial and pleural effusion, consolidation, pulmonary edema, pneumothorax, and proximal deep venous thrombosis. Patient management is not commanded by the protocol and is at the discretion of the treating team. A total of 250 patients will be recruited at one tertiary hospital. Participants are randomized to receive POCUS or no POCUS. The primary outcome measured will be hospital length of stay. Secondary outcomes include the change in diagnosis and management, 30-day hospital readmission, and healthcare costs. Discussion: This study will evaluate the clinical impact of multi-organ POCUS in internal medicine patients admitted with cardiopulmonary diagnosis on the hospital length of stay. Recruitment of participants commenced in September 2018 and is estimated to be completed by March 2020. Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ACTRN12618001442291. Registered on 28 August 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2020



  • Echocardiography
  • Focused assessment sonography
  • Internal medicine
  • Lung ultrasound
  • Randomized controlled trial

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