Validation of cardiac output measurements with noninvasive Doppler echocardiography by thermodilution and Fick methods in newborn piglets

Biol Neonate. 1994;66(2-3):137-45. doi: 10.1159/000244101.


Since cardiac output measured by the noninvasive pulsed Doppler technique has not been well correlated to results from the invasive thermodilution or Fick methods in neonates, the three methods were evaluated in 6 sedated newborn piglets (age < or = 7 days, weight 1.5 +/- 0.7 kg) in room air and after 10 min of hypoxia. Doppler velocities were measured in the ascending aorta, and the aortic root diameter was measured in early diastole. A Swan-Ganz catheter in the left pulmonary artery sampled mixed venous blood for central venous O2 content and measured cardiac output by thermodilution. Oxygen consumption was measured by the open-circuit technique and used to determine cardiac output by the Fick method. In room air, values obtained by pulsed Doppler, thermodilution and Fick methods (0.270 +/- 0.05, 0.246 +/- 0.05 and 0.241 +/- 0.05 liters/kg/min, respectively) were similar, with a correlation coefficient (r) between Doppler and thermodilution values of 0.89, Doppler and Fick values of 0.82 and thermodilution and Fick values of 0.88. Although hypoxia sometimes produced larger differences between paired values, correlation coefficients remained high (Doppler echocardiography vs. thermodilution, r = 0.96; Doppler vs. Fick methods, r = 0.92; thermodilution vs. Fick method, r = 0.95). The mean +/- SD of the percent difference between values obtained by Doppler echocardiography and thermodilution was 4.2 +/- 14.4% in room air and 12.8 +/- 14.4% in hypoxia, whereas differences in values obtained by Doppler and Fick methods was 6 +/- 14.9% in room air and 14.7 +/- 8.5% with hypoxia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Aorta
  • Arteries
  • Cardiac Output*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler* / statistics & numerical data
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Mathematics
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Swine
  • Thermodilution / statistics & numerical data
  • Veins


  • Oxygen