Intraoperative Focused Cardiac Ultrasound for Assessment of Hypotension: A Systematic Review

Jose R. Navas-Blanco, Jack Louro, John Reynolds, Richard H. Epstein, Roman Dudaryk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Focused cardiac ultrasound (FoCUS) has become a valuable tool to assess unexplained hypotension in critically ill patients. Due to increasing availability of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) equipment in the operating room, there is a widespread interest in its usefulness for intraoperative diagnosis of hypotension as an alternative to transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). The objective of this systematic review is to evaluate the utility of intraoperative FoCUS to assess patients experiencing unexplained hypotension while undergoing noncardiac surgery. We performed a systematic literature search of multiple publication databases for studies that evaluated the utility of intraoperative FoCUS for assessment and management of unexplained hypotension in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery, including retro- and prospective clinical studies. A summary of the study findings, study quality, and assessment of level of evidence is presented. We identified 2227 unique articles from the literature search, of which 27 were potentially relevant, and 9 were included in this review. The number of patients pooled from these studies was 255, of whom 228 had intraoperative diagnoses with the aid of intraoperative FoCUS. The level of evidence of all studies included was very low according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) guidelines. This systematic review has demonstrated that FoCUS may be a useful, noninvasive method to differentiate causes of intraoperative hypotension and guide correcting interventions, although the quality of evidence is very low. Further prospective high-quality studies are needed to investigate whether intraoperative FoCUS has a diagnostic utility that is associated with improved outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-859
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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