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Background: In patient requiring vasopressors, the radial artery pressure may underestimate the true central aortic pressure leading to unnecessary interventions. When using a femoral and a radial arterial line, this femoral-to-radial arterial pressure gradient (FR-APG) can be detected. Our main objective was to assess the accuracy of non-invasive blood pressure (NIBP) measures; specifically, measuring the gradient between the NIBP obtained at the brachial artery and the radial artery pressure and calculating the non-invasive brachial-to-radial arterial pressure gradient (NIBR-APG) to detect an FR-APG. The secondary objective was to assess the prevalence of the FR-APG in a targeted sample of critically ill patients. Methods: Adult patients in an intensive care unit requiring vasopressors and instrumented with a femoral and a radial artery line were selected. We recorded invasive radial and femoral arterial pressure, and brachial NIBP. Measurements were repeated each hour for 2 h. A significant FR-APG (our reference standard) was defined by either a mean arterial pressure (MAP) difference of more than 10 mmHg or a systolic arterial pressure (SAP) difference of more than 25 mmHg. The diagnostic accuracy of the NIBR-APG (our index test) to detect a significant FR-APG was estimated and the prevalence of an FR-APG was measured and correlated with the NIBR-APG. Results: Eighty-one patients aged 68 [IQR 58–75] years and an SAPS2 score of 35 (SD 7) were included from which 228 measurements were obtained. A significant FR-APG occurred in 15 patients with a prevalence of 18.5% [95%CI 10.8–28.7%]. Diabetes was significantly associated with a significant FR-APG. The use of a 11 mmHg difference in MAP between the NIBP at the brachial artery and the MAP of the radial artery led to a specificity of 92% [67; 100], a sensitivity of 100% [95%CI 83; 100] and an AUC ROC of 0.93 [95%CI 0.81–0.99] to detect a significant FR-APG. SAP and MAP FR-APG correlated with SAP (r2 = 0.36; p < 0.001) and MAP (r2 = 0.34; p < 0.001) NIBR-APG. Conclusion: NIBR-APG assessment can be used to detect a significant FR-APG which occur in one in every five critically ill patients requiring vasoactive agents.
Jacquet-Lagrèze, M., Claveau, D., Cousineau, J., Liu, K. P., Guimond, J. G., Aslanian, P., … Denault, A. (2021). Non-invasive detection of a femoral-to-radial arterial pressure gradient in intensive care patients with vasoactive agents. Journal of Intensive Care, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40560-021-00585-1