Findings of a randomized controlled trial using limited transthoracic echocardiogram (LTTE) as a hemodynamic monitoring tool in the trauma bay


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Abstract

BACKGROUNDWe hypothesize that limited transthoracic echocardiogram (LTTE) is a useful tool to guide therapy during the initial phase of resuscitation in trauma patients.METHODSAll highest-level alert patients with at least one measurement of systolic blood pressure less than 100 mm Hg, a mean arterial pressure less than 60 mm Hg, and/or a heart rate greater than 120 beats per minute who arrived to the trauma bay (TB) were randomized to have either LTTE performed (LTTEp) or not performed (non-LTTE) as part of their initial evaluation. Images were stored, and results were reported regarding contractility (good vs. poor), fluid status (empty inferior vena cava [hypovolemic] vs. full inferior vena cava [not hypovolemic]), and pericardial effusion (present vs. absent). Time from TB to operating room, intravenous fluid administration, blood product requirement, intensive care unit admission, and mortality were examined in both groups.RESULTSA total of 240 patients were randomized. Twenty-five patients were excluded since they died upon arrival to the TB, leaving 215 patients in the study. Ninety-two patients were in the LTTEp group with 123 patients in the non-LTTE group. The LTTEp and non-LTTE groups were similar in age (38 years vs. 38.8 years, p = 0.75), Injury Severity Score (ISS) (19.2 vs. 19.0, p = 0.94), Revised Trauma Score (RTS) (5.5 vs. 6.0, p = 0.09), lactate (4.2 vs. 3.6, p = 0.14), and mechanism of injury (p = 0.44). Strikingly, LTTEp had significantly less intravenous fluid than non-LTTE patients (1.5 L vs. 2.5 L, p < 0.0001), less time from TB to operating room (35.6 minutes vs. 79.1 min, p = 0.0006), higher rate of intensive care unit admission (80.4% vs. 67.2%, p = 0.04), and a lower mortality rate (11% vs. 19.5%, p = 0.09). Mortality differences were particularly evident in the traumatic brain injury patients (14.7% in LTTEp vs. 39.5% in non-LTTE, p = 0.03).CONCLUSIONLTTE is a useful guide for therapy in hypotensive trauma patients during the early phase of resuscitation.LEVEL OF EVIDENCETherapeutic study, level II.

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