A new standard for pediatric musculoskeletal ultrasound courses
Pediatric musculoskeletal ultrasound (PedMSUS) has great potential in the evaluation of children with arthritis, and since 2012 several PedMSUS courses have been endorsed by EULAR—The European Alliance of Rheumatology Associations. But despite this, there has been no agreed educational procedure for the conduct, content and format of these courses. This is critical, since the ability of PedMSUS to correlate imaging findings with clinical assessment is highly dependent on operator expertise.
A task force was therefore set up to conduct a systemic literature review and collect expert opinion on a panel of items that should be included in all PedMSUS courses endorsed by EULAR and PReS—the Pediatric Rheumatology European aSsociation. The task force included 24 health care professionals and patient research partners from eight different countries.
The results set out four levels of procedures and items that should be considered for basic, intermediate, advanced, and teach-the-teachers PedMSUS courses. Within each course, there are recommendations for the appropriate content, format, and conduct.
Accurate knowledge and high-level training are mandatory to be able to correctly scan patients and make accurate and reliable image interpretations. This new work should support education in PedMSUS across Europe, and ensure consistent and standardized education and training on an increasingly requested imaging technique.