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Does the Central Venous Pressure Predict Fluid Responsiveness? An Updated Meta-Analysis and a Plea for Some Common Sense*

Marik, Paul E. MD, FCCM1; Cavallazzi, Rodrigo MD2

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31828a25fd
Review Articles

Background: Despite a previous meta-analysis that concluded that central venous pressure should not be used to make clinical decisions regarding fluid management, central venous pressure continues to be recommended for this purpose.

Aim: To perform an updated meta-analysis incorporating recent studies that investigated indices predictive of fluid responsiveness. A priori subgroup analysis was planned according to the location where the study was performed (ICU or operating room).

Data Sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, and citation review of relevant primary and review articles.

Study Selection: Clinical trials that reported the correlation coefficient or area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) between the central venous pressure and change in cardiac performance following an intervention that altered cardiac preload. From 191 articles screened, 43 studies met our inclusion criteria and were included for data extraction. The studies included human adult subjects, and included healthy controls (n = 1) and ICU (n = 22) and operating room (n = 20) patients.

Data Extraction: Data were abstracted on study characteristics, patient population, baseline central venous pressure, the correlation coefficient, and/or the AUC between central venous pressure and change in stroke volume index/cardiac index and the percentage of fluid responders. Meta-analytic techniques were used to summarize the data.

Data Synthesis: Overall 57% ± 13% of patients were fluid responders. The summary AUC was 0.56 (95% CI, 0.54–0.58) with no heterogenicity between studies. The summary AUC was 0.56 (95% CI, 0.52–0.60) for those studies done in the ICU and 0.56 (95% CI, 0.54–0.58) for those done in the operating room. The summary correlation coefficient between the baseline central venous pressure and change in stroke volume index/cardiac index was 0.18 (95% CI, 0.1–0.25), being 0.28 (95% CI, 0.16–0.40) in the ICU patients, and 0.11 (95% CI, 0.02–0.21) in the operating room patients.

Conclusions: There are no data to support the widespread practice of using central venous pressure to guide fluid therapy. This approach to fluid resuscitation should be abandoned.

1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA.

2Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Disorders, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

*See also p. 1823.

The authors have disclosed that they do not have any potential conflicts of interest.

For information regarding this article, E-mail: marikpe@evms.edu

© 2013 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins