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Diagnostic accuracy for hemoperitoneum, influence on prehospital times and time-to-definitive treatment of prehospital FAST: A systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis

      Abstract

      Background

      Focused assessment sonography for trauma (FAST) performed in the prehospital setting may improve trauma care by influencing treatment decisions and reducing time to definitive care, but its accuracy and benefits remain uncertain. This systematic review evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of prehospital FAST in detecting hemoperitoneum and its effects on prehospital time and time to definitive diagnosis or treatment.

      Methods

      We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane library up to November 11th, 2022. Studies investigating prehospital FAST and reporting at least one outcome of interest for this review were considered eligible. The primary outcome was prehospital FAST diagnostic accuracy for hemoperitoneum. A random-effect meta-analysis, including individual patient data, was performed to calculate the pooled outcomes with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Quality of studies was assessed using the QUADAS-2 tool for diagnostic accuracy.

      Results

      We included 21 studies enrolling 5790 patients. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of prehospital FAST for hemoperitoneum were 0.630 (0.454 – 0.777) and 0.970 (0.957–0.979), respectively. Prehospital FAST was performed in a median of 2.72 (2.12 – 3.31) minutes without increasing prehospital times (pooled median difference of 2.44 min [95% CI: -3.93 – 8.81]) compared to standard management. Prehospital FAST findings changed on-scene trauma care in 12–48% of cases, the choice of admitting hospital in 13–71%, the communication with the receiving hospital in 45–52%, and the transfer management in 52–86%. Patients with a positive prehospital FAST achieved definitive diagnosis or treatment more rapidly (severity-adjusted pooled time ratio = 0.63 [95% CI: 0.41 – 0.95]) compared with patients with a negative or not performed prehospital FAST.

      Conclusions

      Prehospital FAST had a low sensitivity but a very high specificity to identify hemoperitoneum and reduced time-to-diagnostics or interventions, without increasing prehospital times, in patients with a high probability of abdominal bleeding. Its effect on mortality is still under-investigated.

      Keywords

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