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Pulmonary artery thermodilution cardiac output vs. transpulmonary thermodilution cardiac output in two patients with intrathoracic pathology

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In two adult patients, one with a severe hemorrhage and one with a partial anomalous pulmonary vein, cardiac output (CO) measurements were performed simultaneously by means of the bolus transpulmonary thermodilution technique (COao) and continuous pulmonary artery thermodilution method (CCOpa). In both cases, the methods revealed clinically significant different cardiac output values based upon the site of measurement and the underlying pathology

The assessment of cardiac output (CO) is considered an important part of cardiovascular monitoring of the critically ill patient. Cardiac output is most commonly determined intermittently by the bolus thermodilution technique with a pulmonary artery catheter (COpa). As continuous monitoring of CO is preferable to this intermittent technique, two major techniques have been proposed. Firstly, a nearly continuous thermodilution method (CCOpa) using a heating filament mounted on a pulmonary artery catheter (Baxter Edwards Laboratories, Irvine, CA), with a clinically acceptable accuracy compared with the intermittent bolus technique (1–4). Based on these results we assumed CCOpa equivalent to real CO during hemodynamically stable conditions, and secondly, a continuous cardiac output system based on pulse contour analysis (PCCO), such as the PiCCO system (Pulsion Medical System, Munchen, Germany). To calibrate this device, which uses a derivation of the algorithm of Wesseling and colleagues ( 5), an independently obtained value of CO by the transpulmonary thermodilution method (COao) is used. Clinical validation studies in patients without underlying intrathoracic pathology, comparing transpulmonary COao with the pulmonary technique (COpa), mostly yielded good agreement (6–10).

Keywords: Cardiac output; intrathoracic pathology; transpulmonay cardiac output

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-6576.2004.00375.x

Affiliations: Department of Intensive Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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