The use of the AFAST®-TFAST® DH (Diaphragmatico-Hepatic) view should be part of all veterinary ultrasound training, a conclusion drawn from a recent retrospective study accepted by the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (2014). In this study, we looked at 24 cases of pericardial effusion diagnosed in dogs using FAST over a 1-year period (2011-2012). We present here some of our most important findings.
The use of the AFAST®-TFAST® DH view, part of BOTH the AFAST® and TFAST® ultrasound formats, is advantageous for 2 major reasons: 1) the acoustic window provided by liver and gallbladder that avoids air-filled lung that is problematic at transthoracic TFAST® Pericardial Site views, and 2) the muscular apex of the heart is much less likely to be confused with heart chambers, also problematic at the transthoracic views. Because of the very short distance between the AFAST®-TFAST® DH’s subxiphoid location and the apex of the heart, we found that even small volume effusions of < 5 mm can be recognized via the AFAST®-TFAST®DH view.
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