Dynamic Limb Bioimpedance and Inferior Vena Cava Ultrasound in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis

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Assessment of volume status in critically ill patients poses a challenge to clinicians. Measuring changes in the inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter using ultrasound is becoming a standard tool to assess volume status. Ultrasound requires physicians with significant training and specialized expensive equipment. It would be of significant value to be able to obtain this measurement continuously without physician presence. We hypothesize that dynamic changes in limb’s bioimpedance in response to respiration could be used to predict changes in IVC. Forty-six subjects were tested a hemodialysis session. Impedance was measured via electrodes placed on the arm. Simultaneously, the IVC diameter was assessed by ultrasound. Subjects were asked to breathe spontaneously and perform respiratory maneuvers using a respiratory training device. Impedance (dz) was determined and compared with change in IVC diameter (dIVC; r = 0.76, p < 0.0001). There was significant relationship between dz and dIVC (p< 0.0001). Receiver-operator curves for dz at thresholds of dIVC (20% to70%) demonstrated high predictive power with areas under the curves (0.87–0.99, p < 0.0001). This evaluation suggests that real-time dynamic changes in limb impedance are capable of tracking a wide range of dynamic dIVC. This technique might be a suitable surrogate for monitoring real-time changes in dIVC to assess intravascular volume status.

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