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Can vets use the VIS Scan Pad for cardiac work?

Short axis Scan Pad measurements
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Portable ultrasound machines for cardiac screening

The Scan Pad ultrasound machine is designed as an entry-level portable black and white system. It is most popularly used for canine, feline and goat pregnancy scanning. It is also used by some veterinarians as a handy portable unit for quick abdominal scans; liver, kidney, spleen, bladder, uterus, prostate. Given that the image quality on the Scan Pad is far superior to machines now commonly used for cardiac screening in humans such as the GE VScan Extend, I thought I’d put the Scan Pad to the test on acquiring some basic cardiac images.

The images exported off a little darker than they display on the machine, but overall, pretty impressive for a sub-£3000 ultrasound machine.


The Scan Pad I used was the black and white model (there is a colour version available too, but with a higher price tag), and is not available with a phased array probe or spectral Doppler capability, so is not suitable for advanced echocardiography. For basic cardiac screening, however, its image quality is more than good enough for ruling out:

  • Marked left ventricular systolic dysfunction
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Cardiac tumours, myxoma, large vegetations


2022 update

Since this post was first published in 2019, the ScanX ultrasound machine has now been launched, which is even more portable. It is even more suited for cardiac screening as it has higher frame rates and higher resolution images.


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