January 2019, 26:1

25 January 2019

Original Study

Original Study

A Clinical Audit of Transthoracic Echocardiography in Malaysia: A District Hospital Experience

W J Quah, Selvesten Anak Panting, T L Fam

ASEAN Heart Journal

First online: 

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Google+ Social Icon

Reference Tools



Echocardiography is a very useful tool that is able to aid in the diagnosis of various cardiac diseases. Transthoracic echocardiography in particular provides important valuable cardiac information allowing the clinician to make crucial decisions. Requests for such procedures have been increasing steadily throughout the years. With the growing number of patients and need to handle imaging workload, we now examine the use of echocardiography in a single district hospital with limited resources.


To evaluate and audit the usage of transthoracic echocardiography as an outpatient and inpatient basis.

This was a retrospective, cross-sectional, single center study of all patients that underwent transthoracic echocardiograms in Miri Hospital, Sarawak in the past 1 year from 1st January till 31st December 2017. The only exclusion criteria was patients whom echocardiography were requested but not performed for various reasons. Data retrieval was done by manual collection of echo request forms. SPSS version 21 was used to analyze the data.


Echocardiograms were done for a staggering total of 3196 patients. 1734 (54%) were males while 1462 (46%) were females. There were 1015 inpatients and 2181 outpatients. The age ranged from a month old to 98 years old with mean age of 49 ± 23. The distribution of ages was skewed left. Based on the total number of patients seen in the hospital, 21% of admitted medical patients had echocardiograms done and 15% of medical clinic patients underwent echocardiograms. Indications vary and include Hypertension (35%), Heart Murmurs Evaluation (12.2%), Acute Coronary Syndrome (12.3%), Pre Chemotherapy (3%), Pre Operative Assessment (1.4%) with the others which were non specific contributing the remaining 36.1%. Sources of referral were mainly from Medical/Nephrology Department (54.4%), Paediatrics (12.2%), District Hospitals/Health Clinics (11.7%), Anaesthesiology (5.3%), Surgery (4.8%), Obstetrics & Gynaecology (3.3%) and the rest (8.3%).


ConclusionsThis particular audit indicates that there is room for improvement for the service. We would need to streamline the indications to reduce imaging burden as well as adopt a more pragmatic approach in request for echocardiography in our current setting.


Transthoracic - Echocardiography - Clinical Audit



1 Department of Internal Medicine, Miri General Hospital at Q353, 98000 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia (Ministry of Health)

Funding Source: No sponsors / self funding

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0) which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.



Tel No: +603-7931 7900
Fax No: +603-7932 1400



D-13A-06, Menara Suezcap 1, KL Gateway,
No.2 Jalan Kerinchi, Gerbang Kerinchi Lestari,
59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


ASEAN HEART Journal is Supported by Unrestricted Grant From 

Committed to therapeutic advances in cardiovascular research