The heart in the critically ill patient- an echocardiographic study

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


The thesis describes aspects of left ventricular systolic and diastolic function examined with echocardiography in
patients with systemic inflammation and shock.
Background: Myocardial depression is a well-known complication in critically ill patients with shock.
Echocardiography is increasingly used for assessing left ventricular (LV) function in these patients.
Aims: 1) To describe the feasibility and reliability of LV systolic function parameters, and the association between
different types of measurements 2) To investigate the time course of LV systolic and diastolic function parameters 3)
To examine the relation of LV longitudinal function to other LV function parameters and biomarkers 4) To determine
whether LV function parameters and cardiac biomarkers are associated with mortality.
Methods: Transthoracic echocardiographic, hemodynamic parameters as well as laboratory measurements were
assessed daily for a total of 7 days. Measurements from day 1 were assessed for their relation to short (28-day) and
long term (1-year) mortality.
Results: LV systolic function parameters were easily obtainable (93% to 100%) and had acceptable repeatability
(coefficient of variation 3.1% to 10.6%). Eyeball ejection fraction and atrioventricular plane displacement¹ provided
the most reliable results. The different parameters variably correlated to each other, and showed substantial variation
over time (r= 0.101 to 0.949). LV systolic function parameters improved over time whereas most LV diastolic
function parameters did not. The LV longitudinal parameter mitral annular plane excursion (MAPSE)¹ correlated
significantly with markers of both LV systolic and diastolic function and with the cardiac biomarker high-sensitive
troponin T. MAPSE was significantly associated with 28-day mortality but not long term mortality. High-sensitive
TNT was an independent marker of 1-year mortality and was a univariate predictor of 28-day mortality. Some
echocardiographic measurements of LV filling pressure were significantly associated with 1-year mortality.
Conclusion: Transthoracic echocardiography is variably feasible in hemodynamically unstable, ventilated patients
with different methods of measuring LV systolic function. Eyeball EF is reliable and can be used instead of more
formal methods of EF quantification. The addition of parameters assessing LV longitudinal function, for example,
MAPSE, is an advantage. MAPSE seemed even to reflect LV diastolic function and myocardial injury. Serial
evaluations over the seven-day observation period revealed that most markers of LV diastolic function remained
unchanged despite improvement of LV systolic function, markers of critical illness and systemic hemodynamic
parameters. Echocardiographic measurements of LV filling pressure should be assessed as they may be related to long
term mortality. The association of the cardiac biomarker high-sensitive Troponin with long term mortality was strong.
¹The terms atrioventricualar plane displacement (AVPD) and mitral annular plane systolic excursion (MAPSE) are
used interchangeably.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Chew, Michelle, Supervisor
  • Öhlin, Hans, Supervisor
Award date2014 Feb 27
ISBN (Print)978-91-87651-49-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2014-02-27
Time: 09:15
Place: Lilla Aulan, Medicinskt Forskningscentrum, ingång 59, Jan Waldenströmsgata 5, Skånes Universitetssjukhus Malmö

External reviewer(s)

Name: Cholley, Bernard
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: Service d’Anesthésie-Réanimation Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou Paris


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care

Free keywords

  • Echocardiography
  • shock
  • left ventricular function
  • biomarkers
  • and outcome


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