To compare the use of curvilinear-array (microconvex) and phased-array transducers for ultrasonographic examination of the lungs in dogs.
13 client-owned dogs with left-sided congestive heart failure.
In a prospective methods comparison study, 24 ultrasonographic examinations of the lungs (4 sites/hemithorax) were performed with both curvilinear-array and phased-array transducers at 3 clinical time points. Two observers independently assessed the number of B lines (scored per site and in total), number of sites strongly positive for B lines (ie, those with > 3 B lines/site), and image quality (scored on a 5-point scale). Analyses included assessment of interobserver agreement with κ analysis, comparison of quality scores between transducers with mixed-effects modeling, and investigation of agreement and bias for B-line data and quality scores between transducers with Passing-Bablok regression.
Interobserver agreement for total B-line scores and number of strong-positive sites was excellent (κ > 0.80) for both transducers. There was no evidence of analytic bias for the number of B lines or strong-positive sites between transducers. Interobserver agreement for image quality scores was moderate (κ, 0.498 and 0.517 for the curvilinear-array and phased-array transducers, respectively). Both observers consistently assigned higher-quality scores to curvilinear-array images than to phased-array images.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated both curvilinear-array (microconvex) and phased-array transducers can be used by experienced sonographers to obtain diagnostic ultrasonographic images of the lungs in dogs with acute or resolving left-sided congestive heart failure and suggested the former transducer may be preferred, particularly to aid identification of anatomic landmarks for orientation.