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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2018

Left ventricular systolic function evaluated by strain echocardiography and relationship with mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2018
F. Sanfilippo, C. Corredor, N. Fletcher, L. Tritapepe, F. L. Lorini, A. Arcadipane, A. Vieillard-Baron, M. Cecconi
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-018-2113-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A comment to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-019-2312-1.



Sepsis-induced myocardial dysfunction is associated with poor outcomes, but traditional measurements of systolic function such as left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) do not directly correlate with prognosis. Global longitudinal strain (GLS) utilizing speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) could be a better marker of intrinsic left ventricular (LV) function, reflecting myocardial deformation rather than displacement and volume changes. We sought to investigate the prognostic value of GLS in patients with sepsis and/or septic shock.


We conducted a systematic review (PubMed and Embase up to 26 October 2017) and meta-analysis to investigate the association between GLS and mortality at longest follow up in patients with severe sepsis and/or septic shock. In the primary analysis, we included studies reporting transthoracic echocardiography data on GLS according to mortality. A secondary analysis evaluated the association between LVEF and mortality including data from studies reporting GLS.


We included eight studies in the primary analysis with a total of 794 patients (survival 68%, n = 540). We found a significant association between worse LV function and GLS values and mortality: standard mean difference (SMD) − 0.26; 95% confidence interval (CI) − 0.47, − 0.04; p = 0.02 (low heterogeneity, I2 = 43%). No significant association was found between LVEF and mortality in the same population of patients (eight studies; SMD, 0.02; 95% CI − 0.14, 0.17; p = 0.83; no heterogeneity, I2 = 3%).


Worse GLS (less negative) values are associated with higher mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, while such association is not valid for LVEF. More critical care research is warranted to confirm the better ability of STE in demonstrating underlying intrinsic myocardial disease compared to LVEF.
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