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Advanced Critical Care Echocardiography Course- Day 1

Introduction (De Backer)

Consensus statement on training in 2014  – this is the basis of the ESICM’s European Diploma in advanced critical care EchoCardiography (EDEC)

CICM Levels of training

So what does advanced CCE measure compared to basic?

-Colour doppler looking at flow patterns and valvular lesions,

-spectral doppler for quantifying valvular abnormalities, measuring cardiac output and measuring intracardiac pressures

-Heart lung interactions

TEE is recommended as essential in EDEC


TOE Views (Vieilland- Baron)

Practice online with the Toronto Virtual TEE simulator

LV Systolic function- Vieillard-Baron

-LV Dilation suggests a chronic injury

-LV Systolic dysfunction does not mean cardiogenic pulmonary oedema

-LV systolic function is a combination of contractility and afterload

-RWMA is ischaemia until proven otherwise

LV Systolic Function- Vignon

At the advanced level we are going way beyond “eyeballing” ejection fraction…


LV Systolic function- Dessap

Assess in all views:

Visual impression
LV EF (Ideally Simpson’s method of discs)

Don’t forget the importance of afterload!
Good images can be obtained with TTE 90% of the time.

If you are still struggling, strain is becoming more widely available…

LV Diastolic function- McLean

This is an area without much evidence in the critically ill…

ASE recommendations for LV diastolic dysfunction

Applications of diastolic dysfunction guidelines in sepsis

How to measure Diastolic function- Slama

This is really hard!

Problem with these tools is that mitral flow/pulmonary venous flow/Propagation velocity are all rather load dependent
Ea (e’) is probably least of these

EDEC Accreditation structure (De Backer)

Register here

Pericardial disease and echo (Paul Mayo)

Twitter thread here

Whatever you do don’t forget that tamponade is a CLINICAL diagnosis!!

Many thanks to all the amazing speakers for sharing their knowledge.

LIVES2018: Respiratory variations of the IVC- Cholley

Inferior Vena Cava may appear congested when it’s dilated without any respiratory variation collapsed with very small diameter through the respiratory cycle, or compliant and vary through respiratory cycle. But how IVC looks like depends on how the patientis breathing, spontaneouslyvs mechanically ventilated.

During spontaneous breathing, in inspiration there is a decrease in pleural pressure, partially transmitted to the heart chambers with a decrease in Right Atrial Pressureand increase in Venous Return (the lower the RAPthe easier the venous return). Because of this decrease in RAP there is a decrease in IVC transmural pressure the size (diameter) and a decrease in size of IVC.

To give numbers, a 40% variation in spontaneouslybreathingpatients is usually associated to preload responsiveness: patient will respond to fluids (but it does not mean that he needs fluids: gives only if associated hypotension/poor perfusion).


In patients with positive pressure ventilation physiology is completely reversed: you put positive pressure in the thorax, this is partially transmitted to the heart chambers whit an increase in RAP, an increase in IVC transmural pressure and in IVC diameter. We expect a dilated and non compliant Vena Cava due to the impeded venous return, collapsible vena cava is an abnormal finding. If you observe a compliant Vena Cava n a patient on MV, changing diameter with ventilation, actually increasing diameter with insufflation due to raised pressure in thorax impeding venous return and flattening in expiration with pressure release), this means that probablythis patient has volume in the veins that can be recruited. A > 12-18% variation in mechanically ventilated patientis usually associated to preload responsiveness(Feissel et al. 2004; Barbier et al. 2004


In patients with elevated Intra-Abdominal Pressure IVC is not interpretable anymore.

The endpoint of resuscitation is improve tissue perfusion, not to increase IVC diameter. The respiratory variations in large vessels just attest that there is some stressed volume that can be recruited: is vein collapses there is room to expand a little more and by increasing the stressed volume there is an high probability to increase the venous return and cardiac output if you think this in needed.And remember: IVC measurement really simple but not make the vena cava say what it can’t say.


Pictures from Cholley B talk at #LIVES2018

New Technology in Ventilation 25th September 2017 #LIVES2017

In respiratory failure, there is regional variability in oxygenation (and perfusion)- imaging can be used to monitor this. Point of care ultrasound for instance…

Electrical Impedance tomography can monitor regional changes as well

Oesophageal manometry can help us monitor transpulmonary pressure… – however is only used in about 1% of ARDS patients according to the LUNG-SAFE study…

Respiratory muscle functioning can be done using the NAVA device… – this may end up being key to keeping intrapleural driving pressure low (Amato)

Mechanical power can be roughly calculated at the bedside as a product of driving pressure and respiratory rate- this may become our key targeted variable in future (Amato)…

However both driving pressure and mechanical power remain static measures of lung mechanics. In future we’ll need dynamic bedside tools.

Ventilator dissynchrony remains a problem and contributes to mortality….


And of course there’s ECMO. Some patients still require ventilation while on ECMO and the reasons for this will vary- for some it will be gas exchange, for others it will be muscular (Camporotta).

There remain several unanswered questions in the ECMO population- how to wean, who needs (and doesn’t need) mechanical ventilation… hopefully answers will come.


The future may well be closed-loop ventilation, such as that seen with the Hamilton ventilators in their ASV mode.…




The ICU Airway- 25th September 2017 #LIVES2017


10-20% of the ICU population will be difficult to intubate- and this can lead to significant morbidity and mortality, as the excellent UK NAP4 audit showed NAP4: Executive summary | The Royal College of Anaesthetists

3% of patients will have an intubation related cardiac arrest…

It’s been suggested that we treat every ICU patient as a difficult intubation. Assess the airway beforehand- the MACHOCA score has been recommended The MACOCHA score is feasible to predict intubation failure of … – NCBI

Tips to optimise intubation?

Should we use VL first line? Maybe- but MACMAN says no…

And what about high flow oxygen as apnoeic oxygenation? Maybe or maybe not?…

Or combine HFNC with non-invasive ventilation for the ultimate oxygenator?…


So some controversies remain- hopefully with more data to come we can make ICU intubation safer.