Background: Different definitions exist for hypotension in children. In this study, we aim to identify evidence-based reference values for low blood pressure and to compare these with existing definitions for systolic hypotension. Methods: We searched online databases until February 2019 (including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science) using a comprehensive search strategy to identify studies that defined age-related centiles (first to fifth centile) for non-invasive systolic blood pressure in healthy children < 18 years. Existing cut-offs for hypotension were identified in international guidelines and textbooks. The age-related centiles and clinical cut-offs were compared and visualized using step charts. Results: Fourteen studies with population-based centiles were selected, of which 2 addressed children < 1 year. Values for the fifth centile differed 8 to 17 mmHg for age. We identified 13 clinical cut-offs of which only 5 reported accurate references. Age-related cut-offs for hypotension showed large variability (ranging from 15 to 30 mmHg). The clinical cut-offs varied in agreement with the low centiles. The definition from Paediatric Advanced Life Support agreed well for children < 12 years but was below the fifth centiles for children > 12 years. For children > 12 years, the definition of Parshuram's early warning score agreed well, but the Advanced Paediatric Life Support definition was above the fifth centiles. Conclusions: The different clinical guidelines for low blood pressure show large variability and low to moderate agreement with population-based lower centiles. For children < 12 years, the Paediatric Advanced Life Support definition fits best but it underestimates hypotension in older children. For children > 12 years, the Advanced Paediatric Life Support overestimates hypotension but Parshuram's cut-off for hypotension in the early warning score agrees well. Future studies should focus on developing reference values for hypotension for acutely ill children.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Hypotension, Percentiles, Reference values, Vital signs
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13054-019-2653-9, hdl.handle.net/1765/122180
Journal Critical Care
Citation
Hagedoorn, N.N. (Nienke N.), Zachariasse, J.M, & Moll, H.A. (2019). A comparison of clinical paediatric guidelines for hypotension with population-based lower centiles: A systematic review. Critical Care (Vol. 23). doi:10.1186/s13054-019-2653-9