Correlation Between Measured Inferior Vena Cava Diameter and Right Atrial Pressure Depends on the Echocardiographic Method Used in Patients Who Are Mechanically Ventilated


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Abstract

In patients who are mechanically ventilated, the correlation between inferior vena cava diameter (IVCD) measurements and mean right atrial pressure (RAP) varies in the literature. The purpose of this study was to test if the correlation between IVCD and RAP measurement in patients who are critically ill depends on the transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) methodology used. Twenty patients who were critically ill, sedated, and required respiratory support were prospectively studied by TTE during mechanical ventilation in a controlled mode. The TTE measures of IVCD were made, using methods previously cited. First, IVCD was measured at end-expiration and end-diastole, with ECG synchronization, using the M-mode, on short-axis view 2 cm below the right atrium. Second, IVCD was assessed at end-expiration, without ECG synchronization, using the 2-dimensional long-axis view at the same location. RAP was measured simultaneously by using a central venous catheter positioned in the superior vena cava. All measurements were taken in the supine position. IVCD at end-expiration and end-diastole, with ECG synchronization, using the M-mode, and IVCD at end-expiration, without ECG synchronization, using the 2-dimensional long-axis view, correlate linearly with RAP (0.81, P < .0001 and 0.71, P = .0004). Mean bias between the 2 TTE methods (Bland-Altman analysis) was 1.6 mm (SD ± 2.03 mm). In conclusion, this study confirms that variation of correlation between TTE IVCD measurement and RAP depends on the ultrasonographic methodology used and the timing of measurement during the cardiac cycle. IVCD at end-expiration and end-diastole, with ECG synchronization, using the M-mode (IVCD-MM) correlates more satisfactory with RAP than with IVCD at end-expiration, without ECG synchronization, using the 2-dimensional long-axis view, in patients during mechanical ventilation. (J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2002;15:944-9.)

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