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POCUS for Nephrologists: Basic Principles and a General Approach. Kidney360 2021 10 28;2(10):1660-1668



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Point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) has evolved as a valuable adjunct to physical examination in the recent past and various medical specialties have embraced it. However, POCUS training and scope of practice remain relatively undefined in nephrology. The utility of diagnostic POCUS beyond kidney and vascular access is under-recognized. Assessment of fluid status is a frequent dilemma faced by nephrologists in day-to-day practice where multiorgan POCUS can enhance the sensitivity of conventional physical examination. POCUS also reduces fragmentation of care, facilitates timely diagnosis, and expedites management. Although the need for further imaging studies is obviated in selected patients, POCUS is not meant to serve as an alternative to consultative imaging. In addition, the utility of POCUS depends on the skills and experience of the operator, which in turn depend on the quality of training. In this review, we discuss the rationale behind nephrologists performing POCUS, discuss patient examples to illustrate the basic principles of focused ultrasonography, and share our experience-based opinion about developing a POCUS training program at the institutional level.

Author List

Koratala A, Reisinger N


Abhilash Koratala MD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Point-of-Care Systems
Point-of-Care Testing