Reliability, Laterality and the Effect of Respiration on the Measured Corrected Flow Time of the Carotid Arteries

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Emergency Medicine








carotid artery; corrected flow time; critical care; ultrasound; volume responsiveness


© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Background Corrected flow time (FTc) measured via sonography of the carotid artery is a novel method that has shown promising results for predicting fluid responsiveness in shock states. It is a rapid and noninvasive examination that can be taught to emergency physicians with ease. However, its reliability has not been assessed, and the effects of several variables, including respiration and side of evaluation, are unclear. Objectives The objectives were to compare carotid FTc during different phases of the respiratory cycle, (at end-inspiration and end-expiration), to compare FTc reproducibility among providers, and to compare FTc on the right and left sides in a given individual. Methods The FTc of both the right and left carotid arteries was measured in 16 healthy volunteers during an inspiratory hold and an expiratory hold. Examinations were completed by three sonographers blinded to previous results and were analyzed for reliability and reproducibility. Results Reliability and reproducibility were poor when comparing sonographers under all circumstances. No significant differences were found when comparing left vs. right sides of measurement regardless of respiratory phase. Conclusion Although this method for predicting fluid responsiveness has many promising aspects, reproducibility between sonographers was found to be poor. No significant difference was found between the two sides of the body or respiratory phase.

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