Objective: Fluid responsiveness is the ability to increase the cardiac output in response to a fluid challenge. Only about 50% of patients receiving fluid resuscitation for acute circulatory failure increase their stroke volume, but the other 50% may worsen their outcome. Therefore, predicting fluid responsiveness is needed. In this purpose, in recent years, the assessment of the inferior vena cava (IVC) through ultrasound (US) has become very popular. The aim of our work was to systematically review all the previously published studies assessing the accuracy of the diameter of IVC or its respiratory variations measured through US in predicting fluid responsiveness.
Data sources: We searched in the MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, Web of Science databases for all relevant articles from inception to September 2017.
Study selection: Included articles specifically addressed the accuracy of IVC diameter or its respiratory variations assessed by US in predicting the fluid responsiveness in critically ill ventilated or not, adult or pediatric patients.
Data extraction: We included 26 studies that investigated the role of the caval index (IVC collapsibility or distensibility) and 5 studies on IVC diameter.
Data synthesis: We conducted a meta-analysis for caval index with 20 studies: The pooled area under the curve, logarithmic diagnostic odds ratio, sensitivity, and specificity were 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.46-0.83), 2.02 (95% CI: 1.29-2.89), 0.71 (95% CI: 0.62-0.80), and 0.75 (95% CI: 0.64-0.85), respectively.
Conclusion: An extreme heterogeneity of included studies was highlighted. Ultrasound evaluation of the diameter of the IVC and its respiratory variations does not seem to be a reliable method to predict fluid responsiveness.
Keywords: fluid responsiveness; inferior vena cava; meta-analysis; review.