Are transoesophageal Doppler parameters a reliable guide to paediatric haemodynamic status and fluid management?

S M Tibby, M Hatherill, A Durward, I A Murdoch
Intensive Care Medicine 2001, 27 (1): 201-5

OBJECTIVE: Transoesophageal Doppler (TOD) has been used in adults to optimise left ventricular filling on the basis of the waveform parameters. We wished to see if a similar relationship exists in children, specifically: (a) whether change in thermodilution stroke volume (SV) following a fluid bolus corresponded to change in Doppler stroke distance, Doppler corrected flow time (FTc), or central venous pressure (CVP); (b) whether a response to fluid challenge (defined as an increase in SV of greater than 10%) can be predicted on the basis of an absolute value for FTc or CVP prior to fluid bolus; and (c) the relationship between FTc and systemic vascular resistance index.

DESIGN: Prospective, comparison study.

SETTING: Sixteen-bed paediatric intensive care unit of a university hospital.

PATIENTS: Ninety-four ventilated children were studied, median (range) age 25 months (4 days- 16 years). Diagnoses included: post-cardiac surgery (n = 58), sepsis/multi-organ failure (n = 29), respiratory disease (n = 5), and other (n = 2).

INTERVENTIONS: A 4-MHz, 5.5-mm diameter, flexible TOD probe was placed when patients were haemodynamically stable. Five consecutive measurements of stroke distance and FTc were made and averaged, concurrently with five SV measurements by femoral artery thermodilution. SV was then augmented by administration of fluid (10 ml/kg), and haemodynamic recordings were repeated.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The median (range) SV was 17 ml (2-64 ml). The median coefficients of variation were 3.9 % for SV, 3.5 % for stroke distance, and 3.1% for FTc. Changes in SV were accurately tracked by changes in stroke distance (mean bias 1.8 %, limits of agreement +/- 17%), but not by FTc or CVP. FTc was weakly inversely correlated with systemic vascular resistance (r = -0.15, P < 0.05). Among non-cardiac patients (n = 36), the optimal FTc that predicted an improvement in SV following fluid bolus was 0.394 s (area under ROC curve 0.756), giving a sensitivity of 90 %, specificity of 62 %, positive predictive value of 47 %, and a negative predictive value of 94 %. CVP was a poor predictor for all patient groups.

CONCLUSIONS: TOD stroke distance is able to follow changes in SV following fluid bolus amongst ventilated children, and can predict when further volume loading is unlikely to improve SV amongst general, but not cardiac ICU patients. CVP is a poor discriminator of volume status in this group of patients.

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