The echocardiography working group of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine recognized the need to provide structured guidance for future CCE research methodology and reporting based on a systematic appraisal of the current literature. Here is reported this systematic appraisal.
We conducted a systematic review, registered on the Prospero database. A total of 43 items of common interest to all echocardiography studies were initially listed by the experts, and other “topic-specific” items were separated into five main categories of interest (left ventricular systolic function, LVSF n = 15, right ventricular function, RVF n = 18, left ventricular diastolic function, LVDF n = 15, fluid management, FM n = 7, and advanced echocardiography techniques, AET n = 17). We evaluated the percentage of items reported per study and the fraction of studies reporting a single item.
From January 2000 till December 2017 a total of 209 articles were included after systematic search and screening, 97 for LVSF, 48 for RVF, 51 for LVDF, 36 for FM and 24 for AET. Shock and ARDS were relatively common among LVSF articles (both around 15%) while ARDS comprised 25% of RVF articles. Transthoracic echocardiography was the main echocardiography mode, in 87% of the articles for AET topic, followed by 81% for FM, 78% for LVDF, 70% for LVSF and 63% for RVF. The percentage of items per study as well as the fraction of study reporting an item was low or very low, except for FM. As an illustration, the left ventricular size was only reported by 56% of studies in the LVSF topic, and half studies assessing RVF reported data on pulmonary artery systolic pressure.
This analysis confirmed sub-optimal reporting of several items listed by an expert panel. The analysis will help the experts in the development of guidelines for CCE study design and reporting.