Diagnostic Ultrasound (DU) plays an integral role in the assessment and mapping of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)(Neglen & Raju, 1992; Zygmunt, 2014) and in particular the assessment and documentation of perforator veins.(Eidson Iii & Bush, 2010). Also evident is a paucity of research around the reliability and validity of sonographer measurement, in particular for vascular ultrasound.
The overall research aim is to develop a tool to measure reliability and validity between sonographers in the assessment of perforator veins. The outcome will be then to implement that tool within a group of experienced vascular sonographers.
Completed to date is:
ï a systematic review of the literature.
ï a two round Delphi Study that sought consensus around the critical parameters in the assessment of perforator veins and the design of a reliability/validity assessment instrument. The second round of the study was modified in response to the first round responses.
ï A total of 12 responded to both rounds of the study (5 vascular surgeons and 7 vascular sonographers).
The literature review revealed a paucity of material in the literature examining the reliability and validity of sonographer's measurements. This lack is across sonography in general, including for the examination for CVI and perforator veins.
It was expected the responses to the Delphi study would emphasise the traditional parameters of perforator location, diameter and competence and this was the case. A novel finding is that those practicing endovascular interventions were also interested in tortuosity of the perforator.
A final data collection instrument was developed around these responses and this will be applied to the ultrasound examination of a series of patients with the first and second examiners double blinded to the result.