José Muniz Pazeli a-e , Daniel Fagundes Vidigal c , Tarcísio Cestari Grossi e , Natália Maria Silva Fernandes a, b , Fernando Colugnati a, b , Rogério Baumgratz de Paula a, b , Hélady Sanders-Pinheiro a, b , *
30 April 2014
Background/Aims: The costs and the need for a specialist impair the implementation of ultrasonography for evaluating the inferior vena cava (IVC) to assess the volemic status in hemodialysis patients. We investigated whether a nephrologist with limited ultrasound training can accurately assess the IVC in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Methods: A cardiologist and a nephrologist consecutively measured the indexed IVC expiratory diameter (VCDi) and the IVC collapsibility index (IVCCI) of 52 patients during hemodialysis sessions. In protocol I, the nephrologist used a regular ultrasound system (RUS) and the cardiologist used a cardiovascular ultrasound equipment; in protocol II, the machines were interchanged. Pearson and kappa coefficients and the interexaminer agreement by the Bland-Altman method were calculated. Results: The VCDi measurements showed a strong correlation in both protocols (r = 0.88 and 0.84 in protocols I and II, respectively). The volemic classifications were excellent in protocol I (kappa = 0.82 and 0.93 by VCDi and IVCCI, respectively) and substantial in protocol II (kappa = 0.77 and 0.75 by VCDi and IVCCI, respectively). The interexaminer agreement on the VCDi measurements was very good in both protocols. Conclusions: Ultrasound evaluation of the IVC can be performed by nephrologists using an RUS to assess the volemic status in hemodialysis patients.