BACKGROUND: A weaning trial can be considered a stress test of the cardiorespiratory system; it increases oxygen demand and thus warrants a higher cardiac index and elevated breathing effort. We hypothesized that the combination of easily performed ultrasound measurements of heart, lungs, and diaphragm would yield good diagnostic accuracy to predict extubation failure. METHODS: Adult subjects ventilated for > 72 h with a successful spontaneous breathing trial were included. Ultrasound measurements of heart (left ventricular function), lungs (number of B-lines), and diaphragm thickening fraction were performed during a spontaneous breathing trial. The primary outcomes were sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of a holistic ultrasound approach for extubation failure. Re-intubation within 48 h was considered extubation failure. RESULTS: Eighty-three subjects were included, of whom 15 (18%) were re-intubated within 48 h. The sensitivity and specificity of a holistic approach were 100% (78.2–100%) and 7.7% (2.5–17.1%), respectively, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.54. The sensitivity and specificity of diaphragm thickening fraction, using a cutoff value of < 30% for extubation failure were 86.7% (59.5–98.3%) and 25.4% (15.5–37.5%), respectively, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.61. CONCLUSIONS: In subjects ventilated for > 72 h who had a successful spontaneous breathing trial, holistic ultrasound was a weak predictor for extubation failure.
- critical care