Second consensus on the assessment of sublingual microcirculation in critically ill patients: results from a task force of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine

Can Ince, E. Christiaan Boerma, Maurizio Cecconi, Daniel De Backer, Nathan I. Shapiro, Jacques Duranteau, Michael R. Pinsky, Antonio Artigas, Jean Louis Teboul, Irwin K.M. Reiss, Cesar Aldecoa, Sam D. Hutchings, Abele Donati, Marco Maggiorini, Fabio S. Taccone, Glenn Hernandez, Didier Payen, Dick Tibboel, Daniel S. Martin, Alexander ZarbockXavier Monnet, Arnaldo Dubin, Jan Bakker, Jean Louis Vincent, Thomas W.L. Scheeren

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118 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature and ESICM. Purpose: Hand-held vital microscopes (HVMs) were introduced to observe sublingual microcirculatory alterations at the bedside in different shock states in critically ill patients. This consensus aims to provide clinicians with guidelines for practical use and interpretation of the sublingual microcirculation. Furthermore, it aims to promote the integration of routine application of HVM microcirculatory monitoring in conventional hemodynamic monitoring of systemic hemodynamic variables. Methods: In accordance with the Delphi method we organized three international expert meetings to discuss the various aspects of the technology, physiology, measurements, and clinical utility of HVM sublingual microcirculatory monitoring to formulate this consensus document. A task force from the Cardiovascular Dynamics Section of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (with endorsement of its Executive Committee) created this consensus as an update of a previous consensus in 2007. We classified consensus statements as definitions, requirements, and/or recommendations, with a minimum requirement of 80% agreement of all participants. Results: In this consensus the nature of microcirculatory alterations is described. The nature of variables, which can be extracted from analysis of microcirculatory images, is presented and the needed dataset of variables to identify microcirculatory alterations is defined. Practical aspects of sublingual HVM measurements and the nature of artifacts are described. Eleven statements were formulated that pertained to image acquisitions and quality statements. Fourteen statements addressed the analysis of the images, and 13 statements are related to future developments. Conclusion: This consensus describes 25 statements regarding the acquisition and interpretation of microcirculatory images needed to guide the assessment of the microcirculation in critically ill patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-299
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Fluid therapy
  • Hemodynamic monitoring
  • IDF imaging
  • Intensive care
  • Microcirculation
  • OPS imaging
  • SDF imaging
  • Sepsis
  • Shock
  • Sublingual

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