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1.  Evolving concepts of hemodynamic monitoring for critically ill patients 
The last decades have been characterized by a continuous evolution of hemodynamic monitoring techniques from intermittent toward continuous and real-time measurements and from an invasive towards a less invasive approach. The latter approach uses ultrasounds and pulse contour analysis techniques that have been developed over the last 15 years. During the same period, the concept of prediction of fluid responsiveness has also been developed and dynamic indices such as pulse pressure variation, stroke volume variation, and the real-time response of cardiac output to passive leg raising or to end-expiration occlusion, can be easily obtained and displayed with the minimally invasive techniques. In this article, we review the main hemodynamic monitoring devices currently available with their respective advantages and drawbacks. We also present the current viewpoint on how to choose a hemodynamic monitoring device in the most severely ill patients and especially in patients with circulatory shock.
PMCID: PMC4397629  PMID: 25878430
Cardiac output; fluid responsiveness; hemodynamics; monitoring; pulse contour analysis; pulse pressure variation; stroke volume variation; thermodilution
2.  Passive leg raising: five rules, not a drop of fluid! 
Critical Care  2015;19(1):18.
PMCID: PMC4293822  PMID: 25658678
3.  Measurement of Cardiac Index by Transpulmonary Thermodilution Using an Implanted Central Venous Access Port: A Prospective Study in Patients Scheduled for Oncologic High-Risk Surgery 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104369.
Transpulmonary thermodilution allows the measurement of cardiac index for high risk surgical patients. Oncologic patients often have a central venous access (port-a-catheter) for chronic treatment. The validity of the measurement by a port-a-catheter of the absolute cardiac index and the detection of changes in cardiac index induced by fluid challenge are unknown.
We conducted a monocentric prospective study. 27 patients were enrolled. 250 ml colloid volume expansions for fluid challenge were performed during ovarian cytoreductive surgery. The volume expansion-induced changes in cardiac index measured by transpulmonary thermodilution by a central venous access (CIcvc) and by a port-a-catheter (CIport) were recorded.
23 patients were analyzed with 123 pairs of measurements. Using a Bland and Altman for repeated measurements, the bias (lower and upper limits of agreement) between CIport and CIcvc was 0.14 (−0.59 to 0.88) L/min/m2. The percentage error was 22%. The concordance between the changes in CIport and CIcvc observed during volume expansion was 92% with an r = 0.7 (with exclusion zone). No complications (included sepsis) were observed during the follow up period.
The transpulmonary thermodilution by a port-a-catheter is reliable for absolute values estimation of cardiac index and for measurement of the variation after fluid challenge.
Trial Registration NCT02063009
PMCID: PMC4138096  PMID: 25136951
4.  Prospective assessment of a score for assessing basic critical-care transthoracic echocardiography skills in ventilated critically ill patients 
We studied a score for assessing basic transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) skills exhibited by residents who examined critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation.
We conducted a prospective study in the 16 residents who worked in our medical-surgical ICU between 1 May 2008 and 1 November 2009. The residents received theoretical teaching (two hours) then performed supervised TTEs during their six-month rotation. Their basic TTE skills in mechanically ventilated patients were evaluated after one (M1), three (M3), and six (M6) months by two experts, who used a scoring system devised for the study. After scoring, residents gave their hemodynamic diagnosis and suggested a treatment.
The 4 residents with previous TTE skills obtained a significantly higher total score than did the 12 novices at M1 (18 (16 to 19) versus 13 (10 to 15), respectively, P = 0.03). In the novices, the total score increased significantly during training (M1, 13 (10 to 14); M3, 15 (12 to 16); and M6, 17 (15 to 18); P < 0.001) and correlated significantly with the number of supervised TTEs (r = 0.68, P < 0.0001). In the overall population, agreement with experts regarding the diagnosis and treatment was associated with a significantly higher total score (17 (16 to 18) versus 13 (12 to 16), P = 0.002). A total score ≥ 19/20 points had 100% specificity (95% confidence interval, 79 to 100%) for full agreement with the experts regarding the diagnosis and treatment.
Our results validate the scoring system developed for our study of the assessment of basic critical-care TTE skills in residents.
PMCID: PMC4113285  PMID: 25097797
Goal-oriented bedside echocardiography; Basic critical-care echocardiography skills; Non-cardiologist intensivists; Hemodynamic assessment; Intensive care unit
6.  SvO2 to monitor resuscitation of septic patients: let's just understand the basic physiology 
Critical Care  2011;15(6):1005.
Real-time monitoring of mixed venous oxygen blood saturation (SvO2) or of central venous oxygen blood saturation is often used during resuscitation of septic shock. However, the meaning of these parameters is far from straightforward. In the present commentary, we emphasize that SvO2 - a global marker of tissue oxygen balance - can never be simplistically used as a marker of preload responsiveness, which is an intrinsic marker of cardiac performance. In some septic shock patients, because of profound hypovolemia or myocardial dysfunction, SvO2 can be low but obviously cannot alone indicate whether a fluid challenge would increase cardiac output. In other patients, because of a profound impairment of oxygen extraction capacities, SvO2 can be abnormally high even in patients who are still able to respond positively to fluid infusion. In any case, other reliable dynamic parameters can help to address the important question of fluid responsiveness/unresponsiveness. However, whether fluid administration in fluid responders and high SvO2 would be efficacious to reduce tissue dysoxia in the most injured tissues is still uncertain.
PMCID: PMC3388677  PMID: 22078239
7.  The estimation of cardiac output by the Nexfin device is of poor reliability for tracking the effects of a fluid challenge 
Critical Care  2012;16(5):R212.
The Nexfin device estimates arterial pressure by the volume clamp method through a finger pneumatic cuff. It also allows to estimate cardiac index (CInoninv) by pulse contour analysis of the non-invasive arterial pressure curve. We evaluated the ability of the device to track changes in cardiac index induced by a fluid challenge.
We included 45 patients for whom a volume expansion (500 mL of saline infused over 30 min) was planned. The volume expansion-induced changes in cardiac index measured by transpulmonary thermodilution (CIinv, PiCCO device) and in CInoninv were recorded.
In seven patients, the Nexfin could not record the arterial curve due to finger hypoperfusion. Considering both the values obtained before and after volume expansion (n = 76 pairs of measurements), the bias (lower and upper limits of agreement) between CIinv and CInoninv was 0.2 (-1.8 to 2.2) L/min/m2. The mean change in CInoninv was 10 ± 11%. The percentage error of CInoninv was 57%. The correlation between the changes in CIinv and CInoninv observed during volume expansion was significant (P = 0.0002) with an r2 = 0.31.
The estimation of CI by the Nexfin device in critically ill patients is not reliable, neither for estimating absolute values of CI nor for tracking its changes during volume expansion.
PMCID: PMC3682316  PMID: 23107227
8.  Precision of the transpulmonary thermodilution measurements 
Critical Care  2011;15(4):R204.
We wanted to determine the number of cold bolus injections that are necessary for achieving an acceptable level of precision for measuring cardiac index (CI), indexed global end-diastolic volume (GEDVi) and indexed extravascular lung water (EVLWi) by transpulmonary thermodilution.
We included 91 hemodynamically stable patients (age 59 (25% to 75% interquartile range: 39 to 79) years, simplified acute physiologic score (SAPS)II 59 (53 to 65), 56% under norepinephrine) who were monitored by a PiCCO2 device. We performed five successive cold saline (15 mL, 6°C) injections and recorded the measurements of CI, GEDVi and EVLWi.
Considering five boluses, the coefficient of variation (CV, calculated as standard deviation divided by the mean of the five measurements) was 7 (5 to 11)%, 7 (5 to 12)% and 7 (6 to 12)% for CI, GEDVi and EVLWi, respectively. If the results of two bolus injections were averaged, the precision (2 × CV/√ number of boluses) was 10 (7 to 15)%, 10 (7 to 17)% and 8 (7 to 14)% for CI, GEDVi and EVLWi, respectively. If the results of three bolus injections were averaged, the precision dropped below 10%, that is, the cut-off that is generally considered as acceptable (8 (6 to 12)%, 8 (6 to 14)% and 8 (7 to 14)% for CI, GEDVi and EVLWi, respectively). If two injections were performed, the least significant change, that is, the minimal change in value that could be trusted to be significant, was 14 (10 to 21)%, 14 (10 to 24)% and 14 (11 to 23)% for CI, GEDVi and EVLWi, respectively. If three injections were performed, the least significant change was 12 (8 to 17)%, 12 (8 to 19)% and 12 (9 to 19)% for CI, GEDVi and EVLWi, respectively, that is, below the 15% cut-off that is usually considered as clinically relevant.
These results support the injection of at least three cold boluses for obtaining an acceptable precision when transpulmonary thermodilution is used for measuring CI, GEDVi and EVLWi.
PMCID: PMC3387646  PMID: 21871112
9.  Hemodynamic parameters to guide fluid therapy 
The clinical determination of the intravascular volume can be extremely difficult in critically ill and injured patients as well as those undergoing major surgery. This is problematic because fluid loading is considered the first step in the resuscitation of hemodynamically unstable patients. Yet, multiple studies have demonstrated that only approximately 50% of hemodynamically unstable patients in the intensive care unit and operating room respond to a fluid challenge. Whereas under-resuscitation results in inadequate organ perfusion, accumulating data suggest that over-resuscitation increases the morbidity and mortality of critically ill patients. Cardiac filling pressures, including the central venous pressure and pulmonary artery occlusion pressure, have been traditionally used to guide fluid management. However, studies performed during the past 30 years have demonstrated that cardiac filling pressures are unable to predict fluid responsiveness. During the past decade, a number of dynamic tests of volume responsiveness have been reported. These tests dynamically monitor the change in stroke volume after a maneuver that increases or decreases venous return (preload) and challenges the patients' Frank-Starling curve. These dynamic tests use the change in stroke volume during mechanical ventilation or after a passive leg raising maneuver to assess fluid responsiveness. The stroke volume is measured continuously and in real-time by minimally invasive or noninvasive technologies, including Doppler methods, pulse contour analysis, and bioreactance.
PMCID: PMC3159904  PMID: 21906322
10.  Weaning failure of cardiac origin: recent advances 
Critical Care  2010;14(2):211.
This article is one of ten reviews selected from the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine 2010 (Springer Verlag) and co-published as a series in Critical Care. Other articles in the series can be found online at Further information about the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine is available from
PMCID: PMC2887104  PMID: 20236455
11.  Early administration of norepinephrine increases cardiac preload and cardiac output in septic patients with life-threatening hypotension 
Critical Care  2010;14(4):R142.
We sought to examine the cardiac consequences of early administration of norepinephrine in severely hypotensive sepsis patients hospitalized in a medical intensive care unit of a university hospital.
We included 105 septic-shock patients who already had received volume resuscitation. All received norepinephrine early because of life-threatening hypotension and the need to achieve a sufficient perfusion pressure rapidly and to maintain adequate flow. We analyzed the changes in transpulmonary thermodilution variables associated with the increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) induced by norepinephrine when the achieved MAP was ≥65 mm Hg.
Norepinephrine significantly increased MAP from 54 ± 8 to 76 ± 9 mm Hg, cardiac index (CI) from 3.2 ± 1.0 to 3.6 ± 1.1 L/min/m2, stroke volume index (SVI) from 34 ± 12 to 39 ± 13 ml/m2, global end-diastolic volume index (GEDVI) from 694 ± 148 to 742 ± 168 ml/m2, and cardiac function index (CFI) from 4.7 ± 1.5 to 5.0 ± 1.6 per min. Beneficial hemodynamic effects on CI, SVI, GEDVI, and CFI were observed in the group of 71 patients with a baseline echocardiographic left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) >45%, as well as in the group of 34 patients with a baseline LVEF ≤45%. No change in CI, SVI, GEDVI, or CFI was observed in the 17 patients with baseline LVEF ≤45% for whom values of MAP ≥75 mm Hg were achieved with norepinephrine.
Early administration of norepinephrine aimed at rapidly achieving a sufficient perfusion pressure in severely hypotensive septic-shock patients is able to increase cardiac output through an increase in cardiac preload and cardiac contractility. This effect remained in patients with poor cardiac contractility except when values of MAP ≥75 mm Hg were achieved.
PMCID: PMC2945123  PMID: 20670424
12.  Arterial pressure-based cardiac output in septic patients: different accuracy of pulse contour and uncalibrated pressure waveform devices 
Critical Care  2010;14(3):R109.
We compared the ability of two devices estimating cardiac output from arterial pressure-curve analysis to track the changes in cardiac output measured with transpulmonary thermodilution induced by volume expansion and norepinephrine in sepsis patients.
In 80 patients with septic circulatory failure, we administered volume expansion (40 patients) or introduced/increased norepinephrine (40 patients). We measured the pulse contour-derived cardiac index (CI) provided by the PiCCO device (CIpc), the arterial pressure waveform-derived CI provided by the Vigileo device (CIpw), and the transpulmonary thermodilution CI (CItd) before and after therapeutic interventions.
The changes in CIpc accurately tracked the changes in CItd induced by volume expansion (bias, -0.20 ± 0.63 L/min/m2) as well as by norepinephrine (bias, -0.05 ± 0.74 L/min/m2). The changes in CIpc accurately detected an increase in CItd ≥ 15% induced by volume expansion and norepinephrine introduction/increase (area under ROC curves, 0.878 (0.736 to 0.960) and 0.924 (0.795 to 0.983), respectively; P < 0.05 versus 0.500 for both). The changes in CIpw were less reliable for tracking the volume-induced changes in CItd (bias, -0.23 ± 0.95 L/min/m2) and norepinephrine-induced changes in CItd (bias, -0.01 ± 1.75 L/min/m2). The changes in CIpw were unable to detect an increase in CItd ≥ 15% induced by volume expansion and norepinephrine introduction/increase (area under ROC curves, 0.564 (0.398 to 0.720) and 0.541 (0.377 to 0.700, respectively, both not significantly different from versus 0.500).
The CIpc was reliable and accurate for assessing the CI changes induced by volume expansion and norepinephrine. By contrast, the CIpw poorly tracked the trends in CI induced by those therapeutic interventions.
PMCID: PMC2911755  PMID: 20537159
13.  Detecting volume responsiveness and unresponsiveness in intensive care unit patients: two different problems, only one solution 
Critical Care  2009;13(4):175.
Policies of fluid administration/restriction in critically ill patients have evolved over recent years. Abundant fluid resuscitation is encouraged during the early stage of severe sepsis. But a conservative fluid strategy is recommended in later stages, in particular when lungs are injured. Both strategies are risky if uncontrolled. Tests detecting volume unresponsiveness at any moment of fluid resuscitation or detecting volume unresponsiveness at any moment of fluid restriction would help to better assess the benefit/risk ratio of continuing such strategies. Measuring the short-term hemodynamic changes during passive leg raising can be reliably used for that purpose in both situations, even when patients are breathing spontaneously.
PMCID: PMC2750176  PMID: 19678915
15.  Critical care management and outcome of severe Pneumocystis pneumonia in patients with and without HIV infection 
Critical Care  2008;12(1):R28.
Little is known about the most severe forms of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) in HIV-negative as compared with HIV-positive patients. Improved knowledge about the differential characteristics and management modalities could guide treatment based on HIV status.
We retrospectively compared 72 patients (73 cases, 46 HIV-positive) admitted for PCP from 1993 to 2006 in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a university hospital.
The yearly incidence of ICU admissions for PCP in HIV-negative patients increased from 1993 (0%) to 2006 (6.5%). At admission, all but one non-HIV patient were receiving corticosteroids. Twenty-three (85%) HIV-negative patients were receiving an additional immunosuppressive treatment. At admission, HIV-negative patients were significantly older than HIV-positive patients (64 [18 to 82] versus 37 [28 to 56] years old) and had a significantly higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) II (38 [13 to 90] versus 27 [11 to 112]) but had a similar PaO2/FiO2 (arterial partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen) ratio (160 [61 to 322] versus 183 [38 to 380] mm Hg). Ventilatory support was required in a similar proportion of HIV-negative and HIV-positive cases (78% versus 61%), with a similar proportion of first-line non-invasive ventilation (NIV) (67% versus 54%). NIV failed in 71% of HIV-negative and in 13% of HIV-positive patients (p < 0.01). Mortality was significantly higher in HIV-negative than HIV-positive cases (48% versus 17%). The HIV-negative status (odds ratio 3.73, 95% confidence interval 1.10 to 12.60) and SAPS II (odds ratio 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.12) were independently associated with mortality at multivariate analysis.
The yearly incidence of ICU admissions for PCP in HIV-negative patients in our unit increased from 1993 to 2006. The course of the disease and the outcome were worse in HIV-negative patients. NIV often failed in HIV-negative cases, suggesting that NIV must be watched closely in this population.
PMCID: PMC2374632  PMID: 18304356
16.  Pulse oximeter as a sensor of fluid responsiveness: do we have our finger on the best solution? 
Critical Care  2005;9(5):429-430.
The pulse oximetry plethysmographic signal resembles the peripheral arterial pressure waveform, and the degree of respiratory variation in the pulse oximetry wave is close to the degree of respiratory arterial pulse pressure variation. Thus, it is tempting to speculate that pulse oximetry can be used to assess preload responsiveness in mechanically ventilated patients. In this commentary we briefly review the complex meaning of the pulse oximetry plethysmographic signal and highlight the advantages, limitations and pitfalls of the pulse oximetry method. Future studies including volume challenge must be performed to test whether the pulse oximetry waveform can really serve as a nonivasive tool for the guidance of fluid therapy in patients receiving mechanical ventilation in intensive care units and in operating rooms.
PMCID: PMC1297637  PMID: 16277729
17.  Corynebacterium ulcerans in an Immunocompromised Patient with Diphtheria and Her Dog 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(2):999-1001.
Corynebacterium ulcerans causes zoonotic infections, such as diphtheria and extrapharyngeal infections. We report here the first case of a diphtheria-like illness caused by C. ulcerans in France and transmitted likely by a dog to an immunocompromised woman.
PMCID: PMC548063  PMID: 15695729

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