Background: Echocardiography currently represents a significant proportion of cardiac medical expenditure, while many researchers believe that it would be wise to limit the use of this technique, through the enhancement of diagnosis techniques contributing to clinical auscultation. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of detection of the newly invented Doppler Phonolyser Machine (DPM) compared to the findings by the conventional stethoscope in detecting heart murmurs.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, a total of 112 patients referred to the pediatric cardiology clinic were enrolled between Jan. 2017 and Jan. 2018. In step one, the patients were initially examined by a pediatric cardiologist, and then in step two, they were randomly divided into two groups (A and B) and were blindly re-examined by a 2nd-year pediatric resident. In Group A (Statoscope group), heart auscultation was performed using only a conventional Statoscope whereas, in Group B (Statoscope + DPM), heart sounds were detected and analyzed using a stethoscope and DPM. In the third step, the diagnostic results made by the pediatric cardiologist and the pediatric resident in groups A and B were compared with the final diagnostic echocardiography made by a pediatric cardiologist.
Results: Heart murmurs as one of the most common reasons for cardiologist referrals comprise about 65% of referrals to pediatric cardiologists. There was only a moderate correlation between a stethoscope and echocardiography to identify cardiac abnormality based on heart murmurs (56%), while there was a significant correlation between the diagnoses made by Doppler Phonolyser accompanied with the conventional statoscope when compared with the echocardiography results (٪85).
Conclusion: Doppler Phonolyser is an innovative smart machine that could efficiently detect and analyze abnormal heart sounds and might play a key role in more accurate and earlier diagnosis of congenital and structural heart defects by general physicians and non-cardiologist specialists, and may potentially reduce the cost of treatment as well as anxiety of the patient's family.