Study objective: Among adult emergency department (ED) patients undergoing central venous catheterization, we determine whether a greater than or equal to 50% decrease in inferior vena cava diameter is associated with a central venous pressure of less than 8 mm Hg.
Methods: Adult patients undergoing central venous catheterization were enrolled in a prospective, observational study. Inferior vena cava inspiratory and expiratory diameters were measured by 2-dimensional bedside ultrasonography. The caval index was calculated as the relative decrease in inferior vena cava diameter during 1 respiratory cycle. The correlation of central venous pressure and caval index was calculated. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of a caval index greater than or equal to 50% that was associated with a central venous pressure less than 8 mm Hg were estimated.
Results: Of 73 patients, the median age was 63 years and 60% were women. Mean time and fluid administered from ultrasonographic measurement to central venous pressure determination were 6.5 minutes and 45 mL, respectively. Of the 73 participants, 32% had a central venous pressure less than 8 mm Hg. The correlation between caval index and central venous pressure was -0.74 (95% confidence interval [CI] -0.82 to -0.63). The sensitivity of caval index greater than or equal to 50% to predict a central venous pressure less than 8 mm Hg was 91% (95% CI 71% to 99%), the specificity was 94% (95% CI 84% to 99%), the positive predictive value was 87% (95% CI 66% to 97%), and the negative predictive value was 96% (95% CI 86% to 99%).
Conclusion: Bedside ultrasonographic measurement of caval index greater than or equal to 50% is strongly associated with a low central venous pressure. Bedside measurements of caval index could be a useful noninvasive tool to determine central venous pressure during the initial evaluation of the ED patient.
Copyright (c) 2009 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.