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J Emerg Med. 2017 Jul;53(1):91-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2017.01.056. Epub 2017 Mar 25.

Reliability, Laterality and the Effect of Respiration on the Measured Corrected Flow Time of the Carotid Arteries.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Emergency Ultrasound, Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital, Mount Sinai West Hospital, New York, New York.
Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.



Corrected flow time (FTc) measured via sonography of the carotid artery is a novel method that has shown promising results for predicting fluid responsiveness in shock states. It is a rapid and noninvasive examination that can be taught to emergency physicians with ease. However, its reliability has not been assessed, and the effects of several variables, including respiration and side of evaluation, are unclear.


The objectives were to compare carotid FTc during different phases of the respiratory cycle, (at end-inspiration and end-expiration), to compare FTc reproducibility among providers, and to compare FTc on the right and left sides in a given individual.


The FTc of both the right and left carotid arteries was measured in 16 healthy volunteers during an inspiratory hold and an expiratory hold. Examinations were completed by three sonographers blinded to previous results and were analyzed for reliability and reproducibility.


Reliability and reproducibility were poor when comparing sonographers under all circumstances. No significant differences were found when comparing left vs. right sides of measurement regardless of respiratory phase.


Although this method for predicting fluid responsiveness has many promising aspects, reproducibility between sonographers was found to be poor. No significant difference was found between the two sides of the body or respiratory phase.


carotid artery; corrected flow time; critical care; ultrasound; volume responsiveness

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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