According to varying studies on ocular point-of-care ultrasonography, gel should either be placed directly on the eye or on top of an adhesive membrane (such as TegadermTM). There was no information available on the influence of patient choice or whether strategy produces images of higher quality. By comparing the picture quality and patient preference of TegadermTM vs no TegadermTM for ocular ultrasonography in the emergency room, researchers aimed to close this gap in the literature.

The placement of a TegadermTM on either the right or left eye of patients was determined by randomization. The opposite eye, which had no TegadermTM, was used as a comparison. In each case, an ultrasound was first done on the right eye, then on the left. Using a Likert scale (0 = no discomfort; 10 = severe discomfort), the sonographer asked the patient to assess their level of maximum discomfort following each ultrasound of that eye. The sonographer then questioned the patient about their preference for the TegadermTM or no-TegadermTM side. An expert sonographer with training in ultrasonography who was blinded to the allocation then graded the pictures from 1 to 5. Using descriptive statistics with mean and standard deviation, continuous data were examined. The paired samples t-test was used to see whether there were any group differences. Frequency and percentage were used to depict categorical data.

When TegadermTM was used instead of no TegadermTM, the mean image score was considerably lower (mean difference: 0.94/5.00; 95% CI 0.79-1.08; P<0.001). This held true for both the subgroups in the transverse and sagittal planes. In addition, more photos in the no TegadermTM group (97.8%) than in the TegadermTM group (82.8%) were deemed acceptable. Patient pain between the TegadermTMgroup and the control group did not differ statistically significantly. 54.4% of patients preferred TegadermTM, 30.0% preferred no TegadermTM, and 15.6% had no preference when asked to compare the two methods.

When used for ocular ultrasonography, TegadermTM was linked to decreased picture quality and no appreciable change in patient pain. According to the study, TegadermTM may not be necessary while doing ocular ultrasonography. The effects of TegadermTM vs no TegadermTM among more inexperienced users should be evaluated in future studies.

Reference: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735675722005460