Study on Fluid Responsiveness

Fluid Responsiveness in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

General information

Fluid responsiveness is an important concept in acute medicine and anaesthesia. Fluid loading is one of the first measures in an attempt to optimise the cardiac output of patients in the operating theatre.
It is becoming evident that static parameters like central venous pressure and Pulmonary Artery Occlusion Pressure fail to predict this responsiveness to a fluid challenge. The magnitude of the cyclic changes of stroke volume and Pulse Pressure induced by mechanical ventilation have a better predictive value in determining fluid responsiveness. Different derived parameters like Pulse Pressure Variation (PPV) and Stroke Volume Variation (SVV) as measured by pulse contour analysis have been studied under different conditions and have shown theirs robustness. To use these parameters, one needs to consider some requirements: the patients should have a regular heart rhythm, they should be fully ventilated with sufficiently high Tidal Volumes and the chest needs to be closed.
Patients with atrial fibrillation have an irregular heartbeat making the use of PPV and SVV unreliable because of the intrinsic variation in pulse pressure in this population. Our research focusses on alternatives and its modalities to predict fluid responsiveness in patients with atrial fibrillation.


Dr. Piet Wyffels