Aims/Objectives/Background Studies from sub-Saharan Africa have challenged conventional fluid-liberal strategies for patients with sepsis. Extravascular lung water, associated with increased mortality in sepsis, may be an important factor in these findings. The role of lung ultrasonography in guiding intravenous fluid treatment of sepsis is not yet clear, however sonographic B-lines have been shown to correlate with measures of extravascular lung water.
The aim of this study was to assess, in Malawian patients with clinically suspected sepsis and haemodynamic compromise, how intravenous fluid treatment influences lung ultrasonography findings. In addition, we examined whether these findings predict the onset of hypoxia or are associated with decreased survival.
Methods/Design A prospective observational cohort study was carried out of 70 patients presenting with suspected sepsis to a Malawian hospital. Eight-zone lung ultrasonography was performed at enrolment and again at 3, 6, 24, 48 and 72 hours with a B-line score calculated at each timepoint.
Results/Conclusions Participants who received more intravenous fluid had more B-lines detected on lung ultrasonography. A mixed effects regression model estimated that there was approximately one additional B-line (1.01, 95% CI 0.59 – 1.43 p < 0.001) for every litre of intravenous fluid treatment. Moreover, in participants who were not hypoxic at presentation, a B-line score of greater than five was 86% sensitive and 74% specific for predicting impending hypoxia during the first 72 hours of admission. Analysis of mortality did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.11), but suggested a higher B-line score may be associated with increased risk of death.
In summary, this study establishes important relationships between intravenous fluid treatment and extravascular lung water as assessed by a novel use of lung ultrasonography in a resource-limited setting.
Funding U.S. National Institutes of Health
U.K. Medical Research Council
U.K. National Institute for Health Research
Wang RJ, Katha G, Phiri M, Delbridge P, Gordon SB, Calfee CS, Huang L, Rylance J. Sonographic B-lines, fluid resuscitation, and hypoxemia in malawian patients with suspected sepsis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 Apr. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202003-0640LE.