THIRD bedside ultrasound protocol for rapid diagnosis of undifferentiated shock: a prospective observational study

P. Geng, B. Ling, Y. Yang, J. H. Walline, Y. Song, M. Lu, H. Wang, Q. Zhu, D. Tan, J. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: It is clinically challenging to differentiate the pathophysiological types of shock in emergency situations. Here, we evaluated the ability of a novel bedside ultrasound protocol (Tamponade/ tension pneumothorax, Heart, Inferior vena cava, Respiratory system, Deep venous thrombosis/aorta dissection [THIRD]) to predict types of shock in the emergency department. Methods: An emergency physician performed the THIRD protocol on all patients with shock who were admitted to the emergency department. All patients were closely followed to determine their final clinical diagnoses. The kappa index, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were calculated for the initial diagnostic impression provided by the THIRD protocol, compared with each patient’s final diagnosis. Results: In total, 112 patients were enrolled in this study. The kappa index between initial impression and final diagnosis was 0.81 (95% confidence interval=0.73-0.89; P<0.001). For hypovolaemic, cardiogenic, distributive, and obstructive types of shock, the sensitivities of the THIRD protocol were 100%, 100%, 93%, and 100%, respectively; the sensitivity for a ‘mixed’ shock aetiology was 86%. The negative predictive value of the THIRD protocol for all five types of shock was ≥96%. Conclusion: Initial diagnostic judgements determined using the THIRD protocol showed favourable agreement with the final diagnosis in patients who presented with undifferentiated shock. The THIRD protocol has great potential for use as a bedside approach that can guide the rapid management of undifferentiated shock in emergency settings, particularly for patients with obstructive, hypovolaemic, or cardiogenic shock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-391
Number of pages9
JournalHong Kong Medical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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