Diagnostic Accuracy of the Inferior Vena Cava Collapsibility to Predict Fluid Responsiveness in Spontaneously Breathing Patients With Sepsis and Acute Circulatory Failure

Crit Care Med. 2017 Mar;45(3):e290-e297. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000002090.


Objective: To investigate whether the collapsibility index of the inferior vena cava recorded during a deep standardized inspiration predicts fluid responsiveness in nonintubated patients.

Design: Prospective, nonrandomized study.

Setting: ICUs at a general and a university hospital.

Patients: Nonintubated patients without mechanical ventilation (n = 90) presenting with sepsis-induced acute circulatory failure and considered for volume expansion.

Interventions: We assessed hemodynamic status at baseline and after a volume expansion induced by a 30-minute infusion of 500-mL gelatin 4%.

Measurements and main results: We measured stroke volume index and collapsibility index of the inferior vena cava under a deep standardized inspiration using transthoracic echocardiography. Vena cava pertinent diameters were measured 15-20 mm caudal to the hepatic vein junction and recorded by bidimensional imaging on a subcostal long-axis view. Standardized respiratory cycles consisted of a deep standardized inspiration followed by passive exhalation. The collapsibility index expressed in percentage equaled the ratio of the difference between end-expiratory and minimum-inspiratory diameter over the end-expiratory diameter. After volume expansion, a relevant (≥ 10%) stroke volume index increase was recorded in 56% patients. In receiver operating characteristic analysis, the area under curve for that collapsibility index was 0.89 (95% CI, 0.82-0.97). When such index is superior or equal to 48%, fluid responsiveness is predicted with a sensitivity of 84% and a specificity of 90%.

Conclusions: The collapsibility index of the inferior vena cava during a deep standardized inspiration is a simple, noninvasive bedside predictor of fluid responsiveness in nonintubated patients with sepsis-related acute circulatory failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Inhalation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Sepsis / complications
  • Sepsis / physiopathology*
  • Sepsis / therapy*
  • Shock / etiology
  • Shock / physiopathology*
  • Shock / therapy*
  • Stroke Volume
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / physiopathology
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance