Study design of the microcirculatory shock occurrence in acutely Ill patients (microSOAP): An international multicenter observational study of sublingual microcirculatory alterations in intensive care patients
Objective. Sublingual microcirculatory alterations are associated with an adverse prognosis in several critical illness subgroups. Up to now, single-center studies have reported on sublingual microcirculatory alterations in ICU patient subgroups, but an extensive evaluation of the prevalence of these alterations is lacking. We present the study design of an international multicenter observational study to investigate the prevalence of microcirculatory alterations in critically ill: the Microcirculatory Shock Occurrence in Acutely ill Patients (microSOAP). Methods. 36 ICU's worldwide have participated in this study aiming for inclusion of over 500 evaluable patients. To enable communication and data collection, a website, an Open Clinica 3.0 database, and image uploading software have been designed. A one-session assessment of the sublingual microcirculation using Sidestream Dark Field imaging and data collection on patient characteristics has been performed in every ICU patient >18 years, regardless of underlying disease. Statistical analysis will provide insight in the prevalence and severity of sublingual alterations, its relation to systemic hemodynamic variables, disease, therapy, and outcome. Conclusion. This study will be the largest microcirculation study ever performed. It is expected that this study will also establish a basis for future studies related to the microcirculation in critically ill.