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Volume responsiveness

Monnet, Xavier; Teboul, Jean-Louis

Current Opinion in Critical Care: October 2007 - Volume 13 - Issue 5 - p 549–553
doi: 10.1097/MCC.0b013e3282ec68b2
Cardiovascular system

Purpose of review In the ICU only half of the patients are volume responsive – that is, they respond to fluid administration by increasing their cardiac output. We aim to summarize the methods available for predicting volume responsiveness, focusing on recent findings in patients with spontaneous breathing activity.

Recent findings New information mainly comes from studies that have attempted to find accurate predictors of volume responsiveness in cases of spontaneous breathing activity when heart–lung interaction indices cannot be reliably used. Passive leg raising has emerged as a reliable test for this purpose. The hemodynamic response to this maneuver, which induces a transient increase in cardiac preload, has been shown to provide a robust prediction of volume responsiveness. Assessment of the effects of passive leg raising requires real-time measurement of cardiac output/stroke volume or their surrogates.

Summary Predicting the hemodynamic response to fluid administration in patients with acute circulatory failure is of major importance and numerous methods are now available. While the respiratory variations of stroke volume (or its surrogates) can be used in patients fully adapted to their ventilator, the passive leg-raising test has become a reliable predictive method in patients with spontaneous breathing activity.

Medical Intensive Care Unit, Bicêtre University Hospital, Paris-11 University, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France

Correspondence to Professor Jean-Louis Teboul, Service de réanimation médicale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bicêtre, 78, rue du Général Leclerc, 94 270 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France Tel: +33 1 45 21 35 47; fax: +33 1 45 21 35 51; e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.