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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2007 Nov;51(10):1314-9.

Comparison of electrical velocimetry and thermodilution techniques for the measurement of cardiac output.

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Department of Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aaschen, Germany.



To compare a new method of non-invasive determination of cardiac output based on electrical velocimetry (EV-CO) with invasive thermodilution methods.


Fifty critically ill patients were enrolled into the study. EV-CO was compared with cardiac output measured by a pulmonary artery catheter (PA-CO) in one group (n= 25) and by a femoral artery catheter (PiCCO-CO) in a second group (n= 25), by simultaneous measurements. Standard electrocardiography electrodes were used for non-invasive measurements, and EV-CO was calculated using the Bernstein-Osypka equation. The invasive measurements of PA-CO and PiCCO-CO were made by the injection of iced 0.9% saline and the recording of thermodilution curves.


The precision values of EV-CO, PA-CO and PiCCO-CO measurements were +/- 0.46 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), +/- 0.06], +/- 0.57 (95% CI, +/- 0.09) and +/- 0.48 l/min (95% CI, +/- 0.08 l/min), respectively. The mean differences between EV-CO and PA-CO or PiCCO-CO were -0.05 +/- 0.71 and 0.22 +/- 0.78 l/min, respectively. The lower and upper limits of agreement for the comparison of EV-CO with PA-CO were -1.47 and 1.37 l/min (95% CI, +/- 0.25 l/min), respectively. In the comparison of EV-CO and PiCCO-CO, lower and upper limits of -1.34 and 1.78 l/min (95% CI, +/- 0.27 l/min) were found. The percentage errors between EV-CO and PA-CO or PiCCO-CO were 26.5% and 26.4%, respectively.


The values of cardiac output were statistically comparable between the groups. Therefore, electrical velocimetry is a suitable method to evaluate haemodynamic variables with clinically acceptable accuracy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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