PURPOSE: The primary aim was to investigate if treatment guided by serial ultrasound of the inferior vena cava-collapsibility index (IVC-CI) and B-lines on lung ultrasound (LUS) could reduce mortality, readmissions, and length of stay (LOS) in acutely dyspneic patients admitted to a hospital, compared to standard monitoring. The secondary aim was to determine how the changes of B-lines and IVC-CI are correlated to vitals and symptoms.
METHODS: A systematic search was conducted on PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, OpenGrey, ProQuest, and databases for ongoing trials. The risk of bias was assessed according to study design.
RESULTS: Of the 8258 studies identified, 50 were selected for full-text screening, and 24 studies were chosen for data extraction (19 pre-post-, two non-randomized controlled-, two randomized controlled-, and one retrospective cohort study), covering 2040 patients. Most studies were single-center and had small study populations with only heart failure patients. The risk of bias was high. No studies evaluated how the difference between two ultrasound measurements correlated with the primary outcomes. Seven studies reported that a decline in either B-lines or IVC size, or an increased IVC-CI reduced mortality, readmissions, and LOS when correlated to a single ultrasound measurement. All studies showed changes in the IVC-CI and B-lines, but these were not related to vitals or symptoms.
CONCLUSION: B-lines and IVC-CI are dynamic variables that change over time and with treatment. A single ultrasound measurement can influence prognostic outcomes, but it remains uncertain if repeated scans can have the same impact.