Echocardiographic assessment of preload responsiveness in critically ill patients

Alexander Levitov, Paul E Marik
Cardiology Research and Practice 2012, 2012: 819696
Fluid challenges are considered the cornerstone of resuscitation in critically ill patients. However, clinical studies have demonstrated that only about 50% of hemodynamically unstable patients are volume responsive. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that excess fluid resuscitation is associated with increased mortality. It therefore becomes vital to assess a patient's fluid responsiveness prior to embarking on fluid loading. Static pressure (CVP, PAOP) and echocardiographic (IVC diameter, LVEDA) parameters fails to predict volume responsiveness. However, a number of dynamic echocardiographic parameters which are based on changes in vena-caval dimensions or cardiac function induce by positive pressure ventilation or passive leg raising appear to be highly predictive of volume responsiveness.

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