Phantoms for ultrasound-guided vascular access cannulation training: a narrative review

Eva García-Carpintero, Esperanza Naredo, Esperanza Vélez-Vélez, Gema Fuensalida, Gloria Ortiz-Miluy, Cristina Gómez-Moreno


The objective of this paper is to review and compare the different commercial and homemade models of ultrasound-guided vascular cannulation phantoms, as well as the methods used for the elaboration of the latter. There are a variety of simulators for ultrasound-guided puncture techniques, from simple homemade phantoms to the most sophisticated and expensive virtual reality simulators. Commercial-grade ultrasound phantoms are expensive and although they are reusable, their cost can be a barrier to simulation-based training. Homemade phantoms are a cost-effective, highly useful tool for teaching vascular access using ultrasound. For the elaboration of the homemade ones, different substances and elements are usually used to produce varied echogenicities and geometries. Specifically, animal-based ones provide more realistic tissue feedback and have a back-ground echogenicity that is closer to that of human tissue. A powerful alternative is the use of poly vinyl alcohol or modified mixtures of this material, which would be better suited to cannulation simulation with high functional fidelity.


ultrasonography; training; phantoms; vessel; catheterization

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