Comparison of two impedance cardiographic techniques for measuring cardiac output in critically ill patients

Crit Care Med. 1989 Aug;17(8):806-11. doi: 10.1097/00003246-198908000-00017.


The purpose of the present study was to compare cardiac output (Q) values obtained by both the Kubicek (MIC) and Sramek (NCCOM3) impedance cardiographic techniques with thermodilution (TD) in critically ill patients. The two impedance techniques were also compared in normal subjects. Seven healthy subjects and ten ICU patients were enlisted in the study. Three Q measurements were made in each subject. In the ICU patients, there were no significant differences in Q values as measured by TD (6.6 L/min), MIC (6.3 L/min), and NCCOM3 (6.4 L/min). Both MIC and NCCOM3 Q values were comparable to TD in patients. In normals, however, the NCCOM3 estimated larger values for Q than did the MIC (NCCOM3, 9.2 L/min; MIC, 6.2 L/min). Q values obtained with MIC in normals were comparable with published values for supine normals. Thus, the two techniques agreed in the patients but not in the normals. The reasons for these results are not obvious from the data, but are attributable to the measurements by the NCCOM3. Because of this, caution is suggested when interpreting absolute Q values obtained by the NCCOM3.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Output*
  • Cardiography, Impedance / methods*
  • Critical Care
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Plethysmography, Impedance / methods*