Neonatologist Performed Echocardiography (NPE)

Supporting neonatologists who are actively involved in a recognised training programme

There is a growing interest worldwide in using functional echocardiography in the neonatal unit by neonatologists, so-called Neonatologist Performed Echocardiography (NPE). NPE is used as a complement to the clinical assessment of the hemodynamic status of (preterm) newborn infants.

In the last years, multiple expert consensus statements have been published to provide guidance to NPE. All statements recommend a structured training program and governance system for quality assurance. Neonatal practice in Europe seems to be rather heterogeneous in nature and the proximity of neonatal units to pediatric cardiology centres varies significantly. Currently, there is no overarching governance structure for training and accreditation in Europe.

In this project, we intend to create and implement an overarching governance structure for training in and accreditation of NPE in Europe. This will be created in close collaboration with global experts with due considerations of all previous recommendations and training efforts in and outside Europe.
This project was initiated in September 2021. First results are expected at the end of 2022.

For further information on basic imaging techniques, please click here.

  • Background on the NPE programme

    Neonatologist Performed Echocardiography (NPE) is increasingly used by neonatologists in the intensive care setting to support clinical diagnosis and management.

    The provision of real-time information on cardiovascular performance and systemic haemodynamic, non-invasive nature of the technique, and ability to perform longitudinal functional assessments have all contributed to the increased utilisation of NPE in the neonatal intensive care (NICU).

    The lack of reliable technologies to estimate systemic blood flow is one example of a clinical situation which has prompted neonatologists to perform point of care echocardiography examinations. Clinical signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and capillary refill time, which traditionally physicians have relied upon, provide limited insight into the adequacy of systemic blood flow and organ perfusion.

    For optimal clinical use of this tool, a systematic training programme is recommended by experts. In this training programme all aspects, from beginning to end, need to be included.

  • Meet the NPE team

    Michiel Schokking
    NPE Project Director

    Maaike ten Westenend
    NPE Project Manager

    Willem de Boode
    NPE Advisor
  • Contact info

    For more information or questions about the project, please contact the Project Manager Maaike ten Westenend via npe@espr.eu.

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