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Point of Care Ultrasonography for Objective Assessment of Heart Failure: Integration of Cardiac, Vascular, and Extravascular Determinants of Volume Status. Cardiorenal Med 2021;11(1):5-17



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85100295847   13 Citations


BACKGROUND: Lingering congestion portends poor outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF) and is a key target in their management. Studies have shown that physical exam has low yield in this setting and conventional methods for more precise assessment and monitoring of volume status (e.g., body weight, natriuretic peptides, and chest radiography) have significant inherent shortcomings.

SUMMARY: Point of care ultrasonography (POCUS) is a noninvasive versatile bedside diagnostic tool that enhances the sensitivity of conventional physical examination to gauge congestion in these patients. It also aids in monitoring the efficacy of decongestive therapy and bears prognostic significance. In this narrative review, we discuss the role of focused sonographic assessment of the heart, venous system, and extravascular lung water/ascites (i.e., the pump, pipes, and the leaks) in objective assessment of fluid volume status. Key Messages: Since each of the discussed components of POCUS has its limitations, a combinational ultrasound evaluation guided by the main clinical features would be the key to reliable assessment and effective management of congestion in patients with HF.

Author List

Koratala A, Kazory A


Abhilash Koratala MD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Extravascular Lung Water
Heart Failure
Point-of-Care Systems