Passive leg raising for predicting fluid responsiveness: importance of the postural change

Intensive Care Med. 2009 Jan;35(1):85-90. doi: 10.1007/s00134-008-1293-3. Epub 2008 Sep 16.


Objective: For predicting fluid responsiveness by passive leg raising (PLR), the lower limbs can be elevated at 45 degrees either from the 45 degrees semi-recumbent position (PLR(SEMIREC)) or from the supine position (PLR(SUPINE)). PLR(SUPINE) could have a lower hemodynamic impact than PLR(SEMIREC) since it should not recruit the splanchnic venous reservoir.

Design: Prospective study

Setting: A 24-bed medical intensive care unit.

Patients and participants: A total of 35 patients with circulatory failure who responded to an initial PLR(SEMIREC) by an increase in cardiac index >/= 10%.

Interventions: PLR(SEMIREC), a transfer from the semi-recumbent to the supine position and PLR(SUPINE) were performed in all patients in a random order before fluid expansion (500 mL saline).

Measurements and results: PLR(SEMIREC), supine transfer and PLR(SUPINE) significantly increased the pulse-contour derived cardiac index (PiCCOplus) by 22 (17-28)%, 9 (5-15)% and 10 (7-14)% (P < 0.05 vs. PLR(SEMIREC) for the latter two), respectively. These maneuvers significantly increased the right ventricular end-diastolic area (echocardiography) by 20 (14-29)%, 9 (5-16)% and 10 (5-16)% (P < 0.05 vs. PLR(SEMIREC) for the latter two) and the central venous pressure by 33 (22-50)%, 15 (10-20)% and 20 (15-29)% (P < 0.05 vs. PLR(SEMIREC) for the latter two), respectively. Volume expansion significantly increased cardiac index by 27 (21-38)% and all patients were responders to volume expansion. If an increase in cardiac index >/= 10% is considered as a positive response to PLR(SUPINE), 15 (43%) patients would have been unduly predicted as non-responders to fluid administration by PLR(SUPINE).

Conclusions: PLR(SEMIREC) induces larger increase in cardiac preload than PLR(SUPINE) and may be preferred for predicting fluid responsiveness.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiac Output
  • Central Venous Pressure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypovolemia / diagnosis*
  • Hypovolemia / etiology
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lower Extremity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Posture*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Shock, Septic / complications