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Table 1 “PICOS” approach for selecting clinical studies in the systematic search

From: Left ventricular systolic function evaluated by strain echocardiography and relationship with mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock: a systematic review and meta-analysis

PICOS Characteristics of clinical studies included for the qualitative synthesis and meta-analysis
1. Participants Adult patients with severe sepsis and/or septic shock
2. Intervention Strain echocardiographic assessment with TTE, conducted within the first 48 h from diagnosis
3. Comparison Primary: comparison of GLS values between survivors and non-survivors
Secondary: comparison of LVEF between survivors and non-survivors (only studies providing GLS)
Sensitivity: leave-one-out-at-a-time, excluding studies with high risk of bias, including studies performing TTE within 1 week; including retrospective and case-control studies
4. Outcomes Mortality (at longest follow-up available)
5. Study design Prospective clinical studies
  1. PICOS patient, population or problem, intervention, comparison, outcomes and study design (or setting), GLS global longitudinal strain, LVEF left ventricular ejection fraction, TTE trans-thoracic echocardiography