Issue: 2013 > June > review

Haemodynamic monitoring of morbidly obese intensive care unit patients

W.K. Lagrand, E.R. van Slobbe-Bijlsma, M.J. Schultz


Because of technical and practical difficulties in relation
to increased body size, haemodynamic monitoring of
morbidly obese critically ill patients (i.e. body mass index
≥40 kg/m2) may be challenging. Obese and non-obese
patients are not so different with respect to haemodynamic
monitoring and goals. The critical care physician, however,
should be aware of the basic principles of the monitoring
tools used. The theoretical assumptions and calculations
of these tools could be invalid because of the high body
weight and fat distribution. Although the method of assessing haemodynamic data may be more complex in
morbidly obese patients, its interpretation should not be
different from that in non-obese patients. Indeed, when
indexed for body surface area or (predicted) lean body
mass, reliable haemodynamic data are comparable etween
obese and non-obese individuals.