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Invasive and non-invasive methods for cardiac output measurement

Author(s): Lavdaniti M.

Journal: International Journal of Caring Sciences
ISSN 1791-5201

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 112;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Cardiac output | thermodilution | Fick method | Doppler monitor | bioimpendance | critically ill patients

The hemodynamic status monitoring of high-risk surgical patients and critically ill patients inIntensive Care Units is one of the main objectives of their therapeutic management. Cardiac output is one of the mostimportant parameters for cardiac function monitoring, providing an estimate of whole body perfusion oxygen deliveryand allowing for an understanding of the causes of high blood pressure. The purpose of the present review is thedescription of cardiac output measurement methods as presented in the international literature. The articles documentthat there are many methods of monitoring the hemodynamic status of patients, both invasive and non-invasive, themost popular of which is thermodilution. The invasive methods are the Fick method and thermodilution, whereasthe non-invasive methods are oeshophaegeal Doppler, transoesophageal echocardiography, lithium dilution, pulsecontour, partial CO2 rebreathing and thoracic electrical bioimpedance. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages,but thermodilution is the golden standard for critical patients, although it does entail many risks. The idealsystem for cardiac output monitoring would be non-invasive, easy to use, reliable and compatible in patients. A numberof research studies have been carried out in clinical care settings, by nurses as well as other health professionals, for thepurpose of finding a method of measurement that would have the least disadvantages. Nevertheless, the thermodilutiontechnique remains the most common approach in use today.
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