Perioperative gastric ultrasound: Utility and limitations

Austin J. Adams, Jeffrey C. Songster, Jason P. Harig, Nicholas W. Markin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastric ultrasound is a perioperative imaging tool with the potential to improve patient outcomes and prevent unnecessary surgical delays. As evidenced by its recent inclusion into ACGME program requirements, as well as the ABA Content Outline for Initial Certification in Anesthesiology, POCUS and gastric ultrasound will continue to become more prevalent in clinical training and practice.4,15 The ability of the anesthesiologist to identify at-risk patients in the preoperative area and to determine if findings are consistent with volumes associated with increased risk of aspiration (eg, 1.5 mL/kg in adults and 1.25 mL/kg in children) is a key first step. The ability to make appropriate alterations to the perioperative management plan to prioritize safety is a key aspect of a consultant anesthesiologist and puts the safety of our patients first. It is incumbent upon ACGME-accredited Anesthesiology training programs and practicing anesthesiologists to become familiar with gastric ultrasound, not only to pass exam requirements, but to stay current with best practices. In addition to this review of gastric ultrasound, content is available online to assist interested practitioners in becoming more proficient in gastric ultrasound and POCUS. Online references include, which is solely dedicated to the performance and interpretation of gastric ultrasound, as well as the American Society of Anesthesiologists® Diagnostic POCUS Certification Program.55,56 Through additional training and practice, one can quickly and efficiently incorporate gastric ultrasound into a busy clinical practice and training program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalInternational anesthesiology clinics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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