Predictors of hemodynamic decompensation in progressive hypovolemia: Compensatory reserve versus heart rate variability

Taylor E. Schlotman, Mithun R. Suresh, Natalie J. Koons, Jeffrey T. Howard, Alicia M. Schiller, Sylvain Cardin, Victor A. Convertino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Hemorrhage remains the leading cause of death following traumatic injury in both civilian and military settings. Heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate complexity (HRC) have been proposed as potential “new vital signs” for monitoring trauma patients; however, the added benefit of HRV or HRC for decision support remains unclear. Another new paradigm, the compensatory reserve measurement (CRM), represents the integration of all cardiopulmonary mechanisms responsible for compensation during relative blood loss and was developed to identify current physiologic status by estimating the progression toward hemodynamic decompensation. In the present study, we hypothesized that CRM would provide greater sensitivity and specificity to detect progressive reductions in central circulating blood volume and onset of decompensation as compared with measurements of HRV and HRC. METHODS: Continuous, noninvasive measurements of compensatory reserve and electrocardiogram signals were made on 101 healthy volunteers during lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) to the point of decompensation. Measures of HRVand HRC were taken from electrocardiogram signal data. RESULTS: Compensatory reserve measurement demonstrated a superior sensitivity and specificity (receiver operator characteristic area under the curve [ROC AUC] = 0.93) compared with all HRV measures (ROC AUC ≤ 0.84) and all HRC measures (ROC AUC ≤ 0.86). Sensitivity and specificity values at the ROC optimal thresholds were greater for CRM (sensitivity = 0.84; specificity = 0.84) than HRV (sensitivity, ≤0.78; specificity, ≤0.77), and HRC (sensitivity, ≤0.79; specificity, ≤0.77). With standardized values across all levels of LBNP, CRM had a steeper decline, less variability, and explained a greater proportion of the variation in the data than both HRV and HRC during progressive hypovolemia. CONCLUSION: These findings add to the growing body of literature describing the advantages of CRM for detecting reductions in central blood volume. Most importantly, these results provide further support for the potential use of CRM in the triage and monitoring of patients at highest risk for the onset of shock following blood loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S161-S168
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Vital signs
  • lower-body negative pressure
  • monitoring sensitivity
  • monitoring specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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