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Crit Care Med. 2015 Jan;43(1):48-56. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000000553.

International study on microcirculatory shock occurrence in acutely ill patients.

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1Department of Intensive Care Adults, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 2Department of Intensive Care, Medical Center Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. 3Department of Biomedical Science and Public Health, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy. 4Servicio de Terapia Intensiva, Sanatorio Otamendi y Miroli, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 5Department of Emergency Medicine and Center for Vascular Biology Research, Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA. 6Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom. 7Dor e Terapia Intensiva, Universidade Federal de São Paolo, São Paolo, Brasil. 8Klinik für Anesthesiologie, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany. 9K. Ko[Latin Small Letter s with comma below]uyolu High Specialty Education and Research Hospital, Kartal Ko[Latin Small Letter s with comma below]uyolu, Ko[Latin Small Letter s with comma below]uyolu University, Istanbul, Turkey. 10Department of Intensive Care, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania. 11Section of Cardiology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. 12Medical Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. 13Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Management, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. 14Department of Intensive Care, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 15Critical Care Medicine/Neurocritical Care, Mercy Hospital St. Louis, St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO. 16Derriford Hospital, Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine, Plymouth, United Kingdom. 17Intensive Care Unit, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. 18Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Español-ASSE, School of Medicine, UDELAR, Montevideo, Uruguay. 19Intensive Care Unit, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. 20Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care et SMUR, Hôpital Lariboisière AP-HP/Université Paris 7 Diderot, Paris,



Microcirculatory alterations are associated with adverse outcome in subsets of critically ill patients. The prevalence and significance of microcirculatory alterations in the general ICU population are unknown. We studied the prevalence of microcirculatory alterations in a heterogeneous ICU population and its predictive value in an integrative model of macro- and microcirculatory variables.


Multicenter observational point prevalence study.


The Microcirculatory Shock Occurrence in Acutely ill Patients study was conducted in 36 ICUs worldwide.


A heterogeneous ICU population consisting of 501 patients.




Demographic, hemodynamic, and laboratory data were collected in all ICU patients who were 18 years old or older. Sublingual Sidestream Dark Field imaging was performed to determine the prevalence of an abnormal capillary microvascular flow index (< 2.6) and its additional value in predicting hospital mortality. In 501 patients with a median Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score of 15 (10-21), a Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score of 5 (2-8), and a hospital mortality of 28.4%, 17% exhibited an abnormal capillary microvascular flow index. Tachycardia (heart rate > 90 beats/min) (odds ratio, 2.71; 95% CI, 1.67-4.39; p < 0.001), mean arterial pressure (odds ratio, 0.979; 95% CI, 0.963-0.996; p = 0.013), vasopressor use (odds ratio, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.11-3.07; p = 0.019), and lactate level more than 1.5 mEq/L (odds ratio, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.28-3.62; p = 0.004) were independent risk factors for hospital mortality, but not abnormal microvascular flow index. In reference to microvascular flow index, a significant interaction was observed with tachycardia. In patients with tachycardia, the presence of an abnormal microvascular flow index was an independent, additive predictor for in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 3.24; 95% CI, 1.30-8.06; p = 0.011). This was not true for nontachycardic patients nor for the total group of patients.


In a heterogeneous ICU population, an abnormal microvascular flow index was present in 17% of patients. This was not associated with mortality. However, in patients with tachycardia, an abnormal microvascular flow index was independently associated with an increased risk of hospital death.


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