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Table 1 Appraisal checklist for study quality.

From: Is early ventricular dysfunction or dilatation associated with lower mortality rate in adult severe sepsis and septic shock? A meta-analysis

   Was the study cohort representative of adult population with severe sepsis or septic shock? (Yes/No/Unclear)
   Were the patients recruited at an early point in the course of sepsis? (Yes/No/Unclear)
   Were eligible patients recruited consecutively? Were all eligible patients within the study period recruited? (Yes/No/Unclear)
Outcome and follow-up
   Was 'mortality' clearly defined? (Yes/No/Unclear)
   Was patient follow-up sufficiently long and complete given the type of mortality defined? (Yes/No/Unclear)
   Were all measurements obtained objectively using an established method? (Yes/No/Unclear)
   Were the initial measurements made sufficient early in the course of sepsis? (i.e. within 24 hours of diagnosis or onset of symptoms) (Yes/No/Unclear)
   Did the patients receive the same number of measurements using the same method at the same stage? (Yes/No/Unclear)
   Were the assessors blinded from the measurements or outcome? (Yes/No/Unclear)