Finding covert fluid: methods for detecting volume overload in children on dialysis

Marco Allinovi, Moin A Saleem, Owen Burgess, Catherine Armstrong, Wesley Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
248 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Lung ultrasound is a novel technique for detecting generalized fluid overload in children and adults with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Echocardiography and bioimpedance spectroscopy are established methods, albeit variably adopted in clinical practice. We compared the practicality and accuracy of lung ultrasound with current objective techniques for detecting fluid overload in children with ESRD.

METHODS: A prospective observational study was performed to compare lung ultrasound B-lines, echocardiographic measurement of inferior vena cava parameters and bioimpedance spectroscopy in the assessment of fluid overload in children with ESRD on dialysis. The utility of each technique in predicting fluid overload, based on short-term weight gain, was assessed. Multiple linear regression models to predict fluid overload by weight were explored.

RESULTS: A total of 22 fluid assessments were performed in 13 children (8 on peritoneal dialysis, 5 on haemodialysis) with a median age of 4.0 (range 0.8-14.0) years. A significant linear correlation was observed between the number of B-lines detected by lung ultrasound and fluid overload by weight (r = 0.57, p = 0.005). A non-significant positive linear correlation was observed between fluid overload by weight and bioimpedance spectroscopy (r = 0.43, p = 0.2), systolic blood pressure (r = 0.19, p = 0.4) and physical examination measurements (r = 0.19, p = 0.4), while a non-significant negative linear relationship was found between the inferior vena cava collapsibility index and fluid overload by weight (r = -0.24, p = 0.3). In multiple linear regression models, a combination of three fluid parameters, namely lung ultrasound B-lines, clinical examination and systolic blood pressure, best predicted fluid overload (R (2)  = 0.46, p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Lung ultrasound may be superior to echocardiographic methods and bioimpedance spectroscopy in detecting volume overload in children with ESRD. Given the practicality and sensitivity of this new technique, it can be adopted alongside clinical examination and blood pressure in the routine assessment of fluid status in children with ESRD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2327-2335
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016


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