Table 1.

Summary of the basic echocardiographic views

FOCUS ViewImage AcquisitionStructuresKey AssessmentsCommon Pathologies
PSLAParasternal third to fifth intercostal space, indicator to patient’s right shoulderRV, LV, LA, LVOT, AV, MV, descending aortaVisual assessment of LV EFLV dysfunction, pericardial effusion, left-sided pleural effusion posterior to descending aorta
PSSASecond to fourth intercostal space, indicator to left shoulderRV, LV, interventricular septumVisual assessment of LV EF and LV shapeLV dysfunction, septal flattening, or shift indicative of RV dysfunction, pericardial effusion
ApicalPoint of maximum impulse, indicator to left axillaRA, LA, RV, LV, LVOT, MV, TVRV/LV comparison, color Doppler of tricuspid and mitral valvesRV failure, pericardial effusion, valvular regurgitation
SXBelow the xiphoid process, indicator to patient’s LRA, LA, RV, LVPericardiumPericardial effusion, LV dysfunction
  • Table includes the image acquisition, common structures, sonographic parameters, and pathologies assessed in each view. Note that this list of assessments/pathologies is not exhaustive, and each pathology can be seen in multiple views. FOCUS, focused cardiac ultrasound; PSLA, parasternal long axis view; RV right ventricle; LV left ventricle; LA left atrium; LVOT, left ventricular outflow tract; AV aortic valve; MV mitral valve; EF, ejection fraction; PSSA, parasternal short axis view; RA, right atrium; TV, tricuspid valve; SX subxiphoid view.