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ASAIO J. 1996 Sep-Oct;42(5):M671-6.

Validation study of a new transit time ultrasonic flow probe for continuous great vessel measurements.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Continuous measurement of cardiac output is important during experimental and clinical cardiac surgery as an indicator of ventricular function. Previous flow probes underestimated flow secondary to position and flow (S-series probes; Transonic Systems, Inc., Ithaca, NY), required frequent calibrations (electromagnetic), and were cumbersome to use. The new A-series probe (ASP) by Transonic Systems, Inc., uses a new X method of ultrasonic illumination insensitive to perturbations in flow. The ASPs were found to be accurate during in vitro studies, but have not been validated in vivo. Six anesthetized pigs were instrumented for right atrium to left atrium bypass, and ASPs were placed on the ascending aorta and pulmonary artery. Baseline measurements included aortic (Ao) and pulmonic flow (P), and thermodilution (Td) cardiac output. Animals then were placed on right heart bypass, and flow was randomly varied from 1 to 6 L/min, and Ao flow was recorded. In addition, ASPs were rotated and their direction reversed. After data collection, the occlusive roller pump (RP) was calibrated using a timed collection method. Calibrated RP flows were plotted versus ASP flows, and regression was applied. There was no difference between mean Ao, P, and Td cardiac outputs at baseline. In addition, changes in position and direction of the probe did not affect measurement of flow. The ASPs showed a highly linear correlation with RP ([r = 0.98, p < 0.01] ASP[L/min] = 0.98 RP-0.032). During laminar flow states, ASPs are accurate and insensitive to position on the great vessels.

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