Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 352–360 | Cite as

Fluid responsiveness in mechanically ventilated patients: a review of indices used in intensive care




In mechanically ventilated patients the indices which assess preload are used with increasing frequency to predict the hemodynamic response to volume expansion. We discuss the clinical utility and accuracy of some indices which were tested as bedside indicators of preload reserve and fluid responsiveness in hypotensive patients under positive pressure ventilation.

Results and conclusions

Although preload assessment can be obtained with fair accuracy, the clinical utility of volume responsiveness-guided fluid therapy still needs to be demonstrated. Indeed, it is still not clear whether any form of monitoring-guided fluid therapy improves survival.


Positive pressure ventilation Hypotension Volume expansion Cardiac index 



The authors thank Dr. M.R. Pinsky, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, for his helpful advice in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors are also grateful for the translation support provided by Angela Frei.


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© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Surgical Intensive Care DivisionGeneva University HospitalsGeneva 14Switzerland

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