Non-invasive monitoring of the volemic status of patients

About 10% of patients entering the Emergency Room are subjected to an evaluation of their hydration condition, which is assessed by an ultrasound (US) investigation of the pulsatility of the inferior vena cava (IVC). In order to make this evaluation more reliable and repeatable, we developed an innovative method, which was patented. Our algorithm processes an US video-clip in B-mode by tracking of IVC (to compensate for its movements during respiration) and identifying the borders of the vessel either in a transversal section or in an entire tract of a longitudinal section (depending on the view chosen by the operator). Then, the deformation of the IVC over time can be characterized. Different features describing the dynamics of the vein can be extracted, like as the cross-sectional area or mean diameter and different pulsatility indexes.

This information was investigated in different conditions: healthy subjects making different respiration manoeuvres, blood donors (changing their volume status during donation), different patients (either hypo-, eu-, hyper-volemic), patients under dialysis (comparing the pulsatility pre- and post- treatment) and patients in the intensive care unit undergoing right heart catheterization to measure the central venous pressure (CVP; a method for the non-invasive estimation of CVP was developed by fitting the experimental data with a model including IVC indexes).

A spinoff of Politecnico called VIPER (Vein Image Processing for Edge Rendering) has been founded and licensed the patent describing the technology that was developed:

ERC Sector:

  • PE7_7 Signal processing
  • LS7_1 Medical engineering and technology


  • Biomedical image processing
  • Biomedical signal processing

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