Focused cardiac and lung ultrasound in clinical care

  • Co-Director

    Professor Colin Royse
    T: 0408467548
    W: Personal web page

    Location: Ultrasound Education Group, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, Level 6 Centre for Medical Research, Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052

Project Details

Our research program on focused cardiac and lung ultrasound is investigating the impact of these new techniques on diagnosis, management and outcome of patients at risk for pathology as well as in routine screening by junior doctors for patients admitted to hospital. This research stream has attracted 3 PhD students, several grants and approximately 20 publications, resulting in growth into a large team working on expanding areas of investigation in different specialities.

The use of ultrasound is the modern day revolution in anaesthesia and acute care medicine. The use of ultrasound in the acute care specialities of anaesthesia, intensive care, emergency medicine, and surgery has evolved from discrete, office-based echocardiographic examinations performed by radiologists or cardiologists to the real- time or point- of- care clinical assessment and interventions by the acute care physician. Use of ultrasound improves speed and accuracy of clinical assessment and is non-invasive and cheap.

Some of the more popular and emerging techniques include transoesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, lung and abdominal ultrasound, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks and vascular access. However ultrasound is used for an ever-increasing number of uses and medical, surgical and paramedical specialities. Ultrasound guided nerve blocks and vascular access are becoming routine and even mandatory in some centres. 

Transoesophageal echocardiography is now routinely used by anaesthetists during cardiac surgery and increasingly used in intensive care and in non-cardiac surgery. “Focused” transthoracic echocardiography, focused cardiac ultrasound (FCU), is a limited scope (as compared with comprehensive examination) echocardiographic examination, performed by the treating clinician in acute care medical practice, and is aimed at addressing specific clinical concerns. Not only can transthoracic echocardiography improve diagnostic accuracy of cardiac pathology but it can more accurately guide haemodynamic monitoring and treatment. Out of all ultrasound procedures this is perhaps the fastest growing, as it can be used in so many settings such as preoperative assessment, intraoperative and postoperative haemodynamic instability, intensive care, emergency department and in out of hospital settings. Lung ultrasound is emerging as an effective tool for rapid diagnosis of acute respiratory pathology, probably representing the last nail in the coffin for the stethoscope. There is evidence that diagnosis is improved with ultrasound examination, yet data showing change in management and improvement in patient outcome are few and an important area for future research.


Dr David Canty, Senior Lecturer and Director of Simulation, Ultrasound Education Group

Professor Colin Royse, Co-director, Ultrasound Education Group

Professor Alistair Royse, Co-director, Ultrasound Education Group



Ms Edwina Coller, Manager, Ultrasound Education Group


Monash Health:

  • Dr Martin Kim, Clinical Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Shashikanth Manikippa, Clinical Associate Professor

Western Health

  • Dr Yang Yang, Clinical Senior Lecturer

Eastern Health

  • Clinical Associate Professor Parm Naidoo, Director of Radiology, Dandenong Hospital 

Royal Melbourne Hospital

  • A/Prof David Andrews
  • Dr Ruari Orme

Saudi Arabia

  • Prof Ahmed Alsaddique (Riyadh)


  • 2010 - ANZCA scholarship $120,000 for PhD on the impact of focused TTE in anaesthesia
  • 2013 - ANZCA project grant $58,000 for pilot study on the impact of pre-opertaive focused cardiac ultrasound on outcome after hip fracture surgery

Research Publications

  1. 2010 - ANZCA scholarship $120,000 for PhD on the impact of focused TTE in anaesthesia
  2. 2013 - ANZCA project grant $58,000 for pilot study on the impact of pre-opertaive focused cardiac ultrasound on outcome after hip fracture surgery

Research Group

Ultrasound Education Group

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Cardiometabolic , Integrated Critical Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Ultrasound Education Group