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    One of the main goals of hemodynamic support is to preserve tissue perfusion. However issue perfusion is related more to microvascular perfusion than aortic blood flow. Monitoring the microcirculation has long been difficult. Recent technologic advances have made feasible monitoring of the microcirculation at bedside of critically ill patients. In this review, we will discuss the relevance of the various tools available to monitor the microcirculation. Videomicroscopic devices such as sidestream darkfield imaging are the most appropriate techniques to evaluate the microcirculation, taking into account the heterogeneous aspect of diseased microcirculation, as in sepsis. The microcirculation can also be indirectly assessed by measuring tissue PCO2. Transcutaneous PCO2 measurement at ear lobe is particularly promising. Finally, near infrared spectroscopy can also provide interesting information, especially using vascular occlusion tests which reactivity of the microcirculation to a transient hypoxic insult. These different devices have provided important data helping us to better understand the pathophysiology of sepsis and multiple organ failure.


    Daniel De Backer, Katia Donadello, Diego Orbegozo Cortes. Monitoring the microcirculation. Journal of clinical monitoring and computing. 2012 Oct;26(5):361-6

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    PMID: 22833180

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