Feasibility of non-invasive cardiac output monitoring at birth using electrical bioreactance in term infants

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2021 Jul;106(4):431-434. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2019-318244. Epub 2020 Dec 3.


Background: Non-invasive cardiac output monitoring (NICOM) provides continuous estimation of cardiac output. This has potential for use in the delivery suite in the management of acutely depressed term infants. This study aims to measure cardiac output in term infants at delivery and in the first hours of life.

Methods: Parents of term infants due to be born by elective caesarean section or vaginal delivery at Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland were approached in the antenatal period to participate. Cardiac output was measured using a CHEETAH NICOM device, which uses electrical bioreactance technology, at birth and at 2 hours of life.

Results: Forty-nine newborns were included. The median gestational age was 39 (IQR: 39-40) weeks and the median birth weight was 3.50 (IQR: 3.14-3.91) kg. Cardiac output measurements were obtained at a median of 8 (IQR: 5-12) min of life. The mean (SD) cardiac output was 101 (24) mL/kg/min in the delivery room and 89 (22) mL/kg/min at 2 hours of life. There was a statistically significant decrease in cardiac output from birth to 2 hours of life (difference in mean (95% CI): 13.5 (9.2 to 17.9) mL/kg/min, p<0.001, n=47). There were no adverse effects associated with NICOM.

Discussion: This technique is feasible and safe in the delivery room. Mean cardiac output measures using NICOM are lower than those found in studies which used echocardiography to determine cardiac output at birth.

Keywords: cardiac output; neonatology; newborn; non invasive cardiac output monitoring; term.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Cardiac Output / physiology*
  • Cardiography, Impedance / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Prospective Studies