Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Echographic assessment of hydration condition

Automatic methodEmergency roomHydration statenon-invasive test

Introduction

About 10% of patients entering the Emergency Room are subjected to an evaluation of their hydration condition, which is assessed by an ultrasound (US) investigation of the pulsatility of the inferior vena cava. In order to make this evaluation more reliable and repeatable, we developed an innovative method, which was patented.

Technical features

The currently used clinical procedure for the inferior vena cava pulsatility evaluation is subjective, requires experience and is prone to artifacts. This method supports the operator in the pulsatility measurement, in order to get more standardized, repeatable and reliable information. The system is based on a standard US scan of a longitudinal section of the inferior vena cava and on a software that allows to measure the 2D dynamics of the vein. The software identifies in every frame of the movie the region of interest. The longitudinal movements of the vein are compensated by a tracking method, which allows to always evaluate the same sections, rigidly coupled to the vein rather than fixed in space (and thus affected by the vessel displacement), as in the case of the standard clinical method. An entire portion of the vein is studied (instead of the single section) by evaluating the changes of different cross-sections over time.

Possible Applications

  • Emergency Room: Reliable estimate of the inferior vena cava pulsatility;
  • General medicine: Reliable estimation of the hydration state of patients and reliable assessment of the volume status during the follow up of a patient.

Advantages

  • Pulsatility estimated along the same sections of the vein;
  • Overall estimate of the vein pulsatility in an entire track;
  • Time series which reflects the dynamics of the vein over time (instead of single measurements).