Transthoracic echocardiography for evaluation of hypotensive critically ill patient.

Paulo Marcelino, Susan Marum, Ana Paula Fernandes, Mário G Lopes


a prospective study to determine the value of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in assessing hypotensive patients in a medical/surgical Intensive care Unit (ICU).a 16-bed medical/surgical ICU.patients with hypotension were studied (systolic arterial pressure < 90 mmHg or mean arterial pressure < 60 mmHg, non responsive to fluid therapy in a 30-minute period). TTE was aimed to: exclude severe cardiac dysfunction(abnormalities requiring immediate therapeutic decision); to evaluate other non severe cardiac alterations; to determine cardiac index (CI) and analyse inferior vena cava (IVC).Two hundred eight patients were studied, and 198 enrolled (4.5% of impossible examinations), with a mean age 63.4 +/- 16.2 years, 129 male, APACHE II score 30.1 +/- 9.9, SAPS II 68.8 +/- 20.5, SOFA 11.6 +/- 3.8, MODS 10.9 +/- 3.9. Mortality was 51% (n=101) and 168 (82.2%) patients were under mechanical ventilation. Forty four patients (44.4%) presented cardiac abnormalities, 28 of whom (14%) severe cardiac diseases. Of these, 18 (9%) presented unsuspected situations (aortic stenosis, 3; endocarditis, 4, dilated miocardiopathy, 9, cardiac tamponade, 2). Patients with cardiac abnormalities were older and presented higher severity scores and mortality. Most patients (158, 79.7%) presented a normal/high IC, all with low peripheral vascular resistance. Through logistic regression analysis, a statistically significant between IVC index and ICU stay (p=0.05); IC and IVC index correlated with overall mortality (p=0,008 and 0,041 respectively).Patients with hypotension in a medical/surgical ICU presented a high rate of cardiac abnormalities (44.4%, n=88), including 26 patients with severe diseases, requiring immediate therapeutic decisions. IC and IVC analysis may be useful to determine hemodynamic profile and several TTE parameters may have prognostic value.

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