Vascular ultrasonography: A novel method to reduce paracentesis related major bleeding

Jeffrey H. Barsuk*, Bradley T. Rosen, Elaine R. Cohen, Joe Feinglass, Mark J. Ault

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Paracentesis is a core competency for hospitalists. Using ultrasound for fluid localization is standard practice and involves a low-frequency probe. Experts recommend a “2-probe technique,” which incorporates a high-frequency ultrasound probe in addition to the low-frequency probe to identify blood vessels within the intended needle path. Evidence is currently lacking to support this 2-probe technique, so we performed a pre- to postintervention study to evaluate its effect on paracentesis-related bleeding complications. From February 2010 to August 2011, procedures were performed using only low-frequency probes (preintervention group), while the 2-probe technique was used from September 2011 to February 2016 (postintervention group). A total of 5777 procedures were performed. Paracentesis-related minor bleeding was similar between groups. Major bleeding was lower in the postintervention group (3 [0.3%], n = 1000 vs 4 [0.08%], n = 4777; P =.07). This clinically meaningful trend suggests that using the 2-probe technique might prevent paracentesis-related major bleeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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