Echocardiography is a non-invasive tool, aimed towards the anatomical and functional characterization of the heart. In Intensive Care it is considered nowadays as a necessary tool for patient evaluation. However, the information obtained using echocardiography is not the same as provided by other means, namely the invasive ones. In recent years there has been a significant evolution in the general concepts of haemodynamic support for the critically ill patient. In this new environment, echocardiography has gained particular relevance. In this text the new positioning of echocardiography in the light of the new concepts for hemodynamic support is described, as well as, the need for a specific formative program directed towards Intensive Care physicians. A new generation of biomarkers can also add relevant information and start a new era in haemodynamic support. They may help to further characterize the disease process, identifying patients at risk, as well as, characterize specific organ failure as well as monitoring therapy.
Keywords: Echocardiography, Intensive Care, PAC, Haemodynamic evaluation, pulmonary artery catheter, floating catheter, pathophysiology, vascular resistances, macro haemodynamics, supraphysiological, teaching
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
Page: [136 - 145]