Original Article

Using M-mode ultrasonography to assess diaphragm dysfunction and predict the success of mechanical ventilation weaning in elderly patients

Daozheng Huang, Huan Ma, Wenzhao Zhong, Xiaoting Wang, Yan Wu, Tiehe Qin, Shouhong Wang, Ning Tan


Background: Ultrasonography (US) is a non-invasive and commonly available bedside diagnostic tool. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of M-mode US on ventilator weaning outcomes in elderly patients.
Methods: This was a single center, prospective, observational study in patients aged 80 years or older who were in the medical intensive care unit, had undergone mechanical ventilation for >48 hours, and met the criteria for a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT). For 30 minutes at the start of SBT, each hemi-diaphragmatic movement and the velocity of contraction were evaluated by M-mode US. The the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) was calculated to determine the ability for measured variables to predict successful ventilator weaning.
Results: Forty patients were enrolled and assessed, grouped by those who had US-diagnosed diaphragm dysfunction (DD; 30/40; 75%) and those who did not (10/40; 25%). Patients with DD had a significantly longer total mechanical ventilation duration (536.4±377.05 vs. 250±109.02 hours, P=0.02) and weaning time (425.9±268.31 vs. 216.0±134.22 hours, P=0.002) than patients without DD. Patients with DD also had a higher incidence of weaning failure than patients without DD (24/30 vs. 4/10, P=0.017). Analysis of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (ROC) curve showed that the optimal cut-off values to predict weaning success were >10.7 mm for the right diaphragmatic movement, and >21.32 mm/s for the right diaphragmatic velocity of contraction; AUROC were 0.839 (95% CI, 0.689–0.936) and 0.833 (95% CI, 0.682–0.932), respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratios for predicting weaning success were 83.33% vs. 66.67%, 75.00% vs. 92.86%, 3.33 vs. 9.33, and 0.22 vs. 0.36, for right diaphragmatic movement and diaphragmatic contraction velocity, respectively.
Conclusions: When assessed by M-mode US, DD appeared to be common in ventilated patients aged 80 years or older and was associated with a higher incidence of weaning failure. Larger right diaphragmatic movements or faster right diaphragmatic contraction velocity appeared to be good predictors of mechanical ventilation weaning success in elderly patients.

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