Background and Aims: The diaphragm is considered the main respiratory muscle and difficulty in weaning can occur because of impaired diaphragmatic function. Hence, monitoring diaphragmatic function is important. The aim of this study is to assess the ability of various lung ultrasound (US) indices and the rapid shallow breathing index (RSBI) to predict the outcome of the weaning process and compare them with RSBI.
Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study conducted on patients admitted to critical care unit at a tertiary care hospital in north India from February 2017 to June 2017. Patients were put to spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) when they met the weaning criteria. Initial US was done immediately after putting the patient on SBT to check anatomy of the diaphragm and rule out patients according to exclusion criteria. This was followed by complete lung US (LUS) after 20 min of SBT.
Results: The RSBI performed better than all other parameters, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.996. The sensitivity and specificity is 100%. Only comparable to RSBI is the speed of diaphragmic contraction (DC) which has AUC of 0.93. All other parameters had an AUC <0.8. Moreover, the DC and LUS score are strongly positively correlated with RSBI, whereas diaphragmic excursion and diaphragmic thickness fraction (DTF %) are weakly correlated.
Conclusion: In Intensive Care Unit, RSBI is the best clinical tool for weaning, and DC is found to be the best parameter for weaning among the US-based weaning parameters. It can even be a substitute for RSBI, in today's world of real-time monitoring methods.
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