Pulse contour analysis

Since the rate at which blood flows from arteries to veins is proportional to the rate of fall of arterial pressure, analysis of the contour of the aortic pulse wave enables cardiac output to be determined (Royston.,and Ee§!§Y..!..99.3.). The pulse contour cardiac output technique can be performed from an indwelling pressure-transduced radial or femoral cannula. However, it cannot be used for quantitation of cardiac output unless a calibration tool such as thermodilution is used. Various equations have been developed for monitoring stroke volume using the area below the pressure contour, heart rate, and a calibration factor. Sparse data exist regarding validation of the pulse contour cardiac output technique against other techniques. Its major shortcoming is the inconsistent volume-pressure relationship associated with different individuals. This is also influenced by different hemodynamic states, for example changes in blood pressure, posture, body temperature, and vasopressor agents. Further studies are needed before this technique can be recommended for routine usage.

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