Fluid loading and norepinephrine infusion mask the left ventricular preload decrease induced by pleural effusion

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BACKGROUND: Pleural effusion (PLE) may lead to low blood pressure and reduced cardiac output. Low blood pressure and reduced cardiac output are often treated with fluid loading and vasopressors. This study aimed to determine the impact of fluid loading and norepinephrine infusion on physiologic determinants of cardiac function obtained by ultrasonography during PLE.

METHODS: In this randomised, blinded, controlled laboratory study, 30 piglets (21.9 ± 1.3 kg) had bilateral PLE (75 mL/kg) induced. Subsequently, the piglets were randomised to intervention as follows: fluid loading (80 mL/kg/h for 1.5 h, n = 12), norepinephrine infusion (0.01, 0.03, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 μg/kg/min (15 min each, n = 12)) or control (n = 6). Main outcome was left ventricular preload measured as left ventricular end-diastolic area. Secondary endpoints included contractility and afterload as well as global measures of circulation. All endpoints were assessed with echocardiography and invasive pressure-flow measurements.

RESULTS: PLE decreased left ventricular end-diastolic area, mean arterial pressure and cardiac output (p values < 0.001), but fluid loading (20 mL/kg) and norepinephrine infusion (0.05 μg/kg/min) restored these values (p values > 0.05) to baseline. Left ventricular contractility increased with norepinephrine infusion (p = 0.002), but was not affected by fluid loading (p = 0.903). Afterload increased in both active groups (p values > 0.001). Overall, inferior vena cava distensibility remained unchanged during intervention (p values ≥ 0.085). Evacuation of PLE caused numerical increases in left ventricular end-diastolic area, but only significantly so in controls (p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: PLE significantly reduced left ventricular preload. Both fluid and norepinephrine treatment reverted this effect and normalised global haemodynamic parameters. Inferior vena cava distensibility remained unchanged. The haemodynamic significance of PLE may be underestimated during fluid or norepinephrine administration, potentially masking the presence of PLE.

TidsskriftIntensive Care Medicine Experimental
Sider (fra-til)42
StatusUdgivet - 11 sep. 2017

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