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Point of care venous Doppler ultrasound: Exploring the missing piece of bedside hemodynamic assessment. World J Crit Care Med 2021 Nov 09;10(6):310-322



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Accurate assessment of the hemodynamic status is vital for appropriate management of patients with critical illness. As such, there has been a constant quest for reliable and non-invasive bedside tools to assess and monitor circulatory status in order to ensure end-organ perfusion. In the recent past, point of care ultrasonography (POCUS) has emerged as a valuable adjunct to physical examination in various specialties, which basically is a clinician-performed bedside ultrasound to answer focused questions. POCUS allows visualization of the internal anatomy and flow dynamics in real time, guiding apt interventions. While both arterial (forward flow) and venous (organ outflow or afterload) limbs of hemodynamic circuit are important for tissue perfusion, the venous side remains relatively under-explored. With recent data underscoring the deleterious consequences of iatrogenic volume overload, objective evaluation of venous congestion is gaining attention. Bedside Doppler ultrasound serves this purpose and aids in diagnosing and monitoring the congestion/venous blood flow pattern. In this article, we summarize the rationale for integrating this technology into routine care of patients with volume-related disorders, discuss the normal and abnormal waveforms, limitations, and future directions.

Author List

Galindo P, Gasca C, Argaiz ER, Koratala A


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