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Peripheral arterial tonometry as a method of measuring reactive hyperaemia correlates with organ dysfunction and prognosis in the critically ill patient: a prospective observational study



Predictions of mortality may help in the selection of patients who benefit from intensive care. Endothelial dysfunction is partially responsible for many of the organic dysfunctions in critical illness. Reactive hyperaemia is a vascular response of the endothelium that can be measured by peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT). We aimed to assess if reactive hyperaemia is affected by critical illness and if it correlates with outcomes. Prospective study with a cohort of consecutive patients admitted to an Intensive Care Unit. RH-PAT was accessed on admission and on the 7th day after admission. Early and late survivors were compared to non-survivors. The effect of RH-PAT variation on late mortality was studied by a logistic regression model. The association between RH-PAT and severity scores and biomarkers of organic dysfunction was investigated by multivariate analysis. 86 patients were enrolled. Mean ln(RHI) on admission was 0.580 and was significantly lower in patients with higher severity scores (p < 0.01) and early non-survivors (0.388; p = 0.027). The model for prediction of early-mortality estimated that each 0.1 decrease in ln(RHI) increased the odds for mortality by 13%. In 39 patients, a 2nd RH-PAT measurement was performed on the 7th day. The variation of ln(RHI) was significantly different between non-survivors and survivors (- 24.2% vs. 63.9%, p = 0.026). Ln(RHI) was significantly lower in patients with renal and cardiovascular dysfunction (p < 0.01). RH-PAT is correlated with disease severity and seems to be an independent marker of early mortality, cardiovascular and renal dysfunctions. RH-PAT variation predicts late mortality. There appears to be an RH-PAT impairment in the acute phase of severe diseases that may be reversible and associated with better outcomes.

LF Malheiro

MV Vaz da Silva

S Martins

A Sarmento

L Santos


Year of publication: 2020


ISSN: 1387-1307

Other: 2-s2.0-85090299614


Alternative Titles