Observational study of the effects of age, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease on sublingual microvascular flow.
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Perioper Med (Lond)
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BACKGROUND: Sidestream dark field (SDF) imaging has been used to demonstrate microcirculatory abnormalities in a variety of critical illnesses. The microcirculation is also affected by advancing age and chronic comorbidities. However, the effect of these conditions on SDF microcirculatory parameters has not been well described. METHODS: SDF images were obtained from five groups of 20 participants: healthy volunteers under the age of 25, healthy volunteers over the age of 55, and clinic patients over the age of 55 with one of diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis and stage 5 chronic kidney disease. Microcirculatory parameters between the groups were then compared for significance using analysis of variance for parametric and the Kruskal-Wallis test for non-parametric data. RESULTS: Median microvascular flow index was 2.85 (interquartile range 2.75 to 3.0) for participants aged <25, 2.81 (2.66 to 2.97) for those aged >55, 2.88 (2.75 to 3.0) for those with diabetes mellitus, 3.0 (2.83 to 3.0) for those with cirrhosis and 3.0 (2.78 to 3.0) for those with chronic kidney disease (P for difference between groups = 0.14). Similarly, there were no significant differences in the proportion of perfused vessels and perfused vessel density between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: Older age, diabetes, and chronic kidney and liver disease need not be considered confounding factors for comparison of SDF microcirculatory parameters in the critically ill.