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A preoperative ultrasound-based protocol for optimisation of fluid therapy to prevent early intraoperative hypotension: a randomised controlled study.

BACKGROUND: Intraoperative hypotension is a risk factor for postoperative complications. Preoperative dehydration is a major contributor, although it is difficult to estimate its severity. Point-of-care ultrasound offers several potential methods, including measurements of the inferior vena cava. The addition of lung ultrasound may offer a safety limit. We aimed to evaluate whether the implication of an ultrasound-based preoperative fluid therapy protocol can decrease the incidence of early intraoperative hypotension.

METHODS: Randomised controlled study in a tertiary university department involves elective surgical patients of ASA 2-3 class, scheduled for elective major abdominal surgery under general anaesthesia with intubation. We randomised 40-40 patients; 38-38 were available for analysis. Conventional fluid therapy was ordered on routine preoperative visits. Ultrasound-based protocol evaluated the collapsibility index of inferior vena cava and lung ultrasound profiles. Scans were performed twice: 2 h and 30 min before surgery. A high collapsibility index (≥ 40%) indicated a standardised fluid bolus, while the anterior B-profile of the lung ultrasound contraindicated further fluid. The primary outcome was the incidence of postinduction and early intraoperative (0-10 min) hypotension (MAP < 65 mmHg and/or ≥ 30% of decrease from baseline). Secondary endpoints were postoperative lactate level, urine output and lung ultrasound score at 24 h.

RESULTS: The absolute criterion of postinduction hypotension was fulfilled in 12 patients in the conventional group (31.6%) and 3 in the ultrasound-based group (7.9%) (p = 0.0246). Based on composite criteria of absolute and/or relative hypotension, we observed 17 (44.7%) and 7 (18.4%) cases, respectively (p = 0.0136). The incidence of early intraoperative hypotension was also lower: HR for absolute hypotension was 2.10 (95% CI 1.00-4.42) in the conventional group (p = 0.0387). Secondary outcome measures were similar in the study groups.

CONCLUSION: We implemented a safe and effective point-of-care ultrasound-based preoperative fluid replacement protocol into perioperative care.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered to on 10/12/2021, registration number: NCT05171608 (registered prospectively on 10/12/2021).

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