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01.06.2015 | Original Research | Ausgabe 3/2015

Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing 3/2015

Accuracy of the transpulmonary ultrasound dilution method for detection of small anatomic shunts

Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing > Ausgabe 3/2015
R. Saxena, N. Krivitski, K. Peacock, A. Durward, J. M. Simpson, S. M. Tibby


The purpose of this study was to investigate the qualitative and quantitative accuracy of transpulmonary ultrasound dilution (UD) (COstatus™, Transonic Systems) for the detection of small anatomic shunts. It was a prospective, observational study in a multi-disciplinary pediatric intensive care unit. Seventy-three critically ill children (67 post cardiac surgery), with a median (IQR) age of 10 (3–50.3) months and a median (IQR) weight of 8 (3.43–13) kg were enrolled. Ultrasound dilution (UD) measurements were performed on patients within 1 h of undergoing two-dimensional echocardiography, which was used as the comparator technique. Shunt was diagnosed by characteristic changes on the UD curve shape, and was considered “test-positive” only if two or more measurements suggested the presence of the shunt. The UD technology also provided an estimate of pulmonary to systemic blood flow ratio (Qp:Qs). 12/73 (16.4 %) patients had a shunt identified by both UD and echocardiography. The overall accuracy (95 % CI) was 86.1 % (75.6–96.6 %), with a sensitivity of 85.7 % (57.2–98.2 %) and specificity of 86.4 % (75.0–94.0 %). The estimated Qp:Qs ranged from 0.7 to 1.4, which was consistent qualitatively with the echocardiographic findings on color flow doppler. Shunt was detected by UD alone in eight children; six of these had clinical conditions known to compromise dilution curve analysis (valve regurgitation, asymmetric pulmonary blood flow). Shunt was detected by echocardiography alone in two children; in both cases the shunt was tiny. UD is an accurate method for the detection of small anatomical shunts, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

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