Validation Of Cardiac Output Measurements With Noninvasive Doppler Echocardiography By Thermodilution And Fick Methods In Newborn Piglets

Elizabeth Welch, Shahnaz Duara, Cleide Suguihara, Emmalee Bandstra, Eduardo Bancalari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


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 ≤ 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. We conclude that pulsed Doppler echocardiography correlates well with the standard invasive methods for measuring cardiac output during normoxia and hypoxia in newborns, but a greater variability between individual results is sometimes seen during hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Cardiac output
  • Doppler sonography
  • Fick method
  • Thermodilution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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