Gastric Residual Volume Assessment by Gastric Ultrasound in Fasting Obese Patients: A Comparative Study

Background: Gastric ultrasound is an emerging tool for preoperative evaluation of gastric content and volume. Objectives: To assess gastric residual volume in normal-weight and obese patients scheduled for elective surgery. Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted on 100 patients assigned to two groups of 50 patients each. The obese group included patients with body mass index (BMI) of 30 - 40 and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade II and those with BMI > 40 and ASA III without other comorbidities; the normal-weight group included patients with normal BMI and ASA I. Gastric volume was predicted in each group using sonographic measurement of antral cross-sectional area (CSA) in semi-sitting and right lateral positions (RLP); the two groups were compared to assess the risk of aspiration for each group preoperatively. Results: Despite intergroup differences in antral CSA, the sonographically predicted gastric volume was < 1.5 mL/kg in both groups in both positions. Both groups were at a low risk for aspiration, and 98% of the patients showed grade 0 or 1 in antrum assessments, corresponding to an empty antrum and minimal fluid only in the RLP, respectively. Only 2% of the patients in both groups showed a distended antrum in both positions. Conclusions: Despite the differences in CSA between obese and normal-weight participants in both positions (obese > normal-weight), both groups showed a low predicted gastric residual volume < 1.5 mL/kg and were at low risk for aspiration, provided that fasting was initiated at least 8 hours before elective surgery.