Point-of-Care Echocardiography Improves Assessment of Volume Status in Cirrhosis and Hepatorenal Syndrome

Am J Med Sci. 2016 May;351(5):550-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2016.02.040. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


The management of patients with cirrhosis along with acute kidney injury is complex and depends in large part on accurate assessment of intravascular volume status. Assessment of intravascular volume status by point-of-care echocardiography often relies solely on inferior vena cava size and variability evaluation; however, this parameter should be interpretated with an understanding of right ventricular function integrated with stroke volume and flow. Attempts to optimize intra-abdominal hemodynamics favorably are clearly problematic when physical examination findings or rudimentary assessments of central venous pressure or change in central venous pressure are used. Here, we have demonstrated the potential utility of point-of-care echocardiography to optimize the hemodynamic state in patients with decompensated cirrhosis along with acute kidney injury. This case is very unique and describes how this technique may have great promise in optimizing the intra-abdominal hemodynamics and predict the timing of large-volume paracentesis in patients with decompensated cirrhosis, which in turn can aid in promoting favorable renal recovery.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Ascites; Hepatorenal syndrome; Liver failure; Point-of-care echocardiography.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnostic imaging*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / physiopathology
  • Aged
  • Echocardiography*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / physiopathology
  • Paracentesis
  • Point-of-Care Systems*