Accurate Estimation of Right-Filling Pressure Using Handheld Ultrasound Score in Patients with Heart Failure

Published:December 30, 2021DOI:



      This study aims to evaluate the accuracy of bedside assessment of inferior vena cava (IVC) and right internal jugular (RIJ) vein in predicting right atrial (RA) pressure in heart failure patients.


      We prospectively studied 124 heart failure patients who were referred to our catheterization laboratory for right heart catheterizations to assess hemodynamics and to guide heart failure management. Just prior to the procedure, a handheld ultrasound examination was performed in each patient. The volume status was assessed by estimating RA pressure using end-expiratory IVC dimension, IVC respiratory collapsibility, and RIJ respiratory collapsibility. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on invasive RA pressure value. Multiple logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with RA ≥10 mm Hg; a 3-point simple score was then created. The performance of this score was assessed using the receiver operating characteristics curve.


      In this study 124 heart failure patients were included; median age was 59 years (interquartile range 48-65), and 40% were female. RIJ respiratory collapsibility <50%, end-expiratory IVC dimension ≥21 mm, and respiratory collapsibility <50% were significantly associated with elevated RA pressure, and were used to build the score. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) for the 3-point score was 0.84 (0.77-0.92), and it performed better than 2-point score using IVC characteristics alone (AUC 0.84 [0.77-0.92] vs 0.75 [0.67-0.83]; P = .003). Of 124 patients, 90 patients (72.5%) had concordant RA pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure.


      Concomitant ultrasound assessment of RIJ and IVC correlated better with RA pressure than IVC alone. A simple 3-point score can provide a useful and easily accessible tool to estimate volume status, and further guide management of heart failure patients.


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