Ultrasonographic evaluation of liver/spleen movements and extubation outcome

Chest. 2004 Jul;126(1):179-85. doi: 10.1378/chest.126.1.179.


Introduction: The diaphragm plays a pivotal role in weaning and successful extubation. We hypothesized that ultrasonographic evaluation of the movements of the diaphragm by measuring liver/spleen displacement during spontaneous breathing trials is a good predictor for extubation outcome.

Patients and methods: The studied subjects were intubated patients receiving mechanical ventilation who were scheduled to be extubated. The displacement of liver/spleen was measured by ultrasonography before extubation. The patients were classified into a success group (SG) or failure group according to the extubation outcome. The baseline data and organ displacements in these two groups were analyzed. The sensitivity and specificity for the mean organ displacements and weaning parameters to predict successful extubation were calculated.

Results: We included 55 patients, 32 of whom (58%) were in the SG. The baseline data are similar for these two groups, but the mean values of liver and spleen displacements were higher in the SG. Using a cutoff value of 1.1 cm, the sensitivity and specificity to predict successful extubation were 84.4% and 82.6%, respectively, better than traditional weaning parameters in this study.

Conclusion: The displacement of the liver/spleen, measured by ultrasonography, is a good predictor for extubation outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diaphragm / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Ventilator Weaning / methods*