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‘Intermittent’ versus ‘continuous’ ScvO2 monitoring in children with septic shock: a randomised, non-inferiority trial



To compare the effect of ‘intermittent’ central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO2) monitoring with ‘continuous’ ScvO2 monitoring on shock resolution and mortality in children with septic shock.


Primary outcome was the achievement of therapeutic goals or shock resolution in the first 6 h. We randomly assigned children < 17 years’ age with septic shock to ‘intermittent ScvO2’ or ‘continuous ScvO2’ groups. All children were subjected to subclavian/internal jugular line insertion and managed as per Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines. To guide resuscitation, we used ScvO2 estimated at other clinical and laboratory parameters were monitored similarly in both groups.


We enrolled 75 and 77 children [median (IQR) age: 6 (1.5–10) years] in the ‘intermittent’ and ‘continuous’ groups, respectively. Baseline characteristics were comparable between the groups. When compared to the ‘continuous’ group, fewer children in the ‘intermittent’ group achieved shock resolution within first 6 h [19% vs. 36%; relative risk (RR) 0.51; 95% CI 0.29–0.89; risk difference − 18.0%; 95% CI − 32.0 to − 4.0]. The lower bound of confidence interval, however, crossed the pre-specified non-inferiority margin. There was no difference in the proportion of children attaining shock resolution within 24 h (63% vs. 69%; RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.68–1.08) or risk of mortality between the groups (47% vs. 43%; RR 1.06; 95% CI 0.74–1.51).


Given that a greater proportion of children attained therapeutic end points in the first 6 h, continuous monitoring of ScvO2 should preferably be used to titrate therapy in the first few hours in children with septic shock. In the absence of such facility, intermittent monitoring of ScvO2 can be used to titrate therapy in these children, given the lack of difference in the proportion of patients achieving shock resolution at 24 h or in risk of mortality between the intermittent and continuous groups.

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We would like to sincerely thank the contributions of Dr Vijay and the staff of the PICU towards the conduct of the trial.


The authors received Intramural Research Grant (No.F. 8-335/A-335/2-15/RS) from All India Institute of Medical Sciences for this project (~ 7000 USD).

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Correspondence to Jhuma Sankar.

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Sankar, J., Singh, M., Kumar, K. et al. ‘Intermittent’ versus ‘continuous’ ScvO2 monitoring in children with septic shock: a randomised, non-inferiority trial. Intensive Care Med 46, 82–92 (2020).

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  • EGDT
  • ScvO2
  • Intermittent ScvO2 monitoring
  • Continuous ScvO2 monitoring