INTRODUCTION: Prompt diagnosis of left ventricular (LV) thrombus is clinically important, as it may require immediate anti-coagulation treatment. The aim of this study was to determine if a teaching intervention delivered by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) physicians would increase the CMR radiographers' ability to detect LV thrombus on a routine CMR scan.
METHODS: A cohort of 25 patients (14 with and 11 without LV thrombus) were identified. A multi-parametric CMR protocol had been performed in all patients. Ten radiographers reviewed the 25 randomised anonymised studies on a workstation, documenting the presence/absence of LV thrombus and their confidence level on a 7-point Likert scale. Two senior CMR fellows then delivered a focused teaching programme to the radiographers and all 25 randomised scans were reassessed 1 month after the teaching intervention.
RESULTS: Following dedicated training, there was a significant improvement in correct thrombus identification per radiographer (pre-training: 75 ± 6% vs post-training: 85 ± 6%, p = 0.009). The size of the thrombus was not associated with the likelihood of incorrectly identifying LV thrombus size prior to the training session (p = 0.2), but a trend was observed between smaller thrombus size and incorrect identifications post-training (p = 0.06). The radiographers' overall confidence in assessing the cases prior to the teaching session was high (5.6 ± 0.8 out of 7). Following the teaching session, self-reported confidence did not vary significantly (5.9 ± 0.7 out of 7, p = 0.42). When evaluating the teaching session, radiographers provided very positive feedback, rating the usefulness of the teaching intervention as highly educative (8.8 ± 0.4 out of 10).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study that has explored the ability and confidence of CMR radiographers in detecting LV thrombus on routine CMR scans as a result of the teaching intervention delivered by CMR physicians.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: A teaching intervention can improve CMR radiographers' diagnostic skills and diagnostic confidence.
- Bristol Heart Institute