Functional echocardiography (fECHO) is the bedside use of ultrasound to longitudinally assess myocardial function, systemic and pulmonary blood flow, and intra and extracardiac shunts. This review will focus on fECHO as a tool for the clinician to assess the hemodynamic condition of sick neonates and describe situations where fECHO can help determine a pathophysiological choice for cardiovascular support. The very low birth weight infant with hypotension during the first 24 h of life, assessment and monitoring of the ductus arteriosus, assessment and response to treatment of infants with pulmonary hypertension, the infant with perinatal asphyxia and the infant with sepsis and cardiovascular compromise are reviewed. Close cooperation with pediatric cardiology, proper logistics and training programs are mandatory to achieve a 24 h a day fECHO service run by bedside clinicians.
Early Human Development Vol. 86, Issue 3, p. 149-154