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Continuous independent quality control for fetal nuchal translucency measurements provided by the cumulative summation technique


Balsyte, D; Schäffer, L; Burkhardt, T; Wisser, J; Krafft, A; Kurmanavicius, J (2011). Continuous independent quality control for fetal nuchal translucency measurements provided by the cumulative summation technique. Ultraschall in der Medizin, 32(S 02):E141-E146.

Abstract

PURPOSE: The cumulative summation technique (CUSUM) is an innovative method for the quality control of nuchal translucency (NT) measurements. CUSUM allows immediate corrective intervention as soon as an unacceptable tendency is noted. The aim of this study was to implement an objective and dynamic quality control method based on the CUSUM technique for prompt analysis of fetal NT measurement which would be compatible with different standards in routine clinical practice. The findings were compared to the standard NT quality control methods currently in use. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three sets of fetal NT measurements performed by three experienced examiners (I, II and III) were selected for retrospective evaluation. One additional set of NT measurements performed by examiner IV was prospectively assessed to approve the practicability of the method. NT measurements were conducted according to the recommendations of Fetal Medical Foundation (FMF) Germany and London. NT values were converted to Z-scores. For quality and accuracy evaluation, data were fed into the Digisono CUSUM software to create double CUSUM charts of Z-scores. In addition, histograms were composed from the Z-scores of each set of measurements and plotted against a normal Gaussian distribution. RESULTS: Three different patterns of retrospective performance and one set of NT measurements that was evaluated prospectively are presented. The full alignment of Z-scores using CUSUM curves reflected exact periods of under- and overestimation of NT measurements. The CUSUM chart of the prospective data set reveals that prompt corrective intervention of poor performance resulted in reconstitution of optimal results and provided sufficient control. In contrast, histograms of NT Z-scores only showed a minor positive or negative shift as compared to the expected values on the basis of Gaussian distribution, but could not identify poor performance. CONCLUSION: Use of the CUSUM technique analysing the quality of sonographic NT measurements provides the possibility to prospectively observe the development of the examiner's skills, to maintain competence and to promptly define the time when inaccurate measurements start to occur.

PURPOSE: The cumulative summation technique (CUSUM) is an innovative method for the quality control of nuchal translucency (NT) measurements. CUSUM allows immediate corrective intervention as soon as an unacceptable tendency is noted. The aim of this study was to implement an objective and dynamic quality control method based on the CUSUM technique for prompt analysis of fetal NT measurement which would be compatible with different standards in routine clinical practice. The findings were compared to the standard NT quality control methods currently in use. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three sets of fetal NT measurements performed by three experienced examiners (I, II and III) were selected for retrospective evaluation. One additional set of NT measurements performed by examiner IV was prospectively assessed to approve the practicability of the method. NT measurements were conducted according to the recommendations of Fetal Medical Foundation (FMF) Germany and London. NT values were converted to Z-scores. For quality and accuracy evaluation, data were fed into the Digisono CUSUM software to create double CUSUM charts of Z-scores. In addition, histograms were composed from the Z-scores of each set of measurements and plotted against a normal Gaussian distribution. RESULTS: Three different patterns of retrospective performance and one set of NT measurements that was evaluated prospectively are presented. The full alignment of Z-scores using CUSUM curves reflected exact periods of under- and overestimation of NT measurements. The CUSUM chart of the prospective data set reveals that prompt corrective intervention of poor performance resulted in reconstitution of optimal results and provided sufficient control. In contrast, histograms of NT Z-scores only showed a minor positive or negative shift as compared to the expected values on the basis of Gaussian distribution, but could not identify poor performance. CONCLUSION: Use of the CUSUM technique analysing the quality of sonographic NT measurements provides the possibility to prospectively observe the development of the examiner's skills, to maintain competence and to promptly define the time when inaccurate measurements start to occur.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Obstetrics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:14 Jan 2012 14:42
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:20
Publisher:Thieme
ISSN:0172-4614
Publisher DOI:10.1055/s-0031-1281669
PubMed ID:21877321
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-54410

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