The influence of acute pulmonary hypertension on cardiac output measurements: calibrated pulse contour analysis, transpulmonary and pulmonary artery thermodilution against a modified Fick method in an animal model

Annette P N Kutter, Martina Mosing, Sonja Hartnack, Joanna Raszplewicz, Martina Renggli, Jacqueline Y Mauch, Christoph K Hofer
Anesthesia and Analgesia 2015, 121 (1): 99-107

BACKGROUND: In critically ill patients with significant pulmonary hypertension (PH), close perioperative cardiovascular monitoring is mandatory, considering the increased morbidity and mortality in this patient group. Although the pulmonary artery catheter is still the standard for the diagnosis of PH, its use to monitor cardiac output (CO) in patients with PH is decreasing as a result of increased morbidity and possible influence of tricuspid regurgitation on the measurements. However, continuous CO measurement methods have never been evaluated under PH regarding their agreement and trending ability. In this study, we evaluated the influence of acute PH and different CO states on transpulmonary thermodilution (TPTD) and calibrated pulse contour analysis (PiCCO; both assessed with PiCCO plus™), intermittent pulmonary artery thermodilution (PATD), and continuous thermodilution (CCO) compared with a modified Fick method (FICK) in an animal model.

METHODS: Nine healthy pigs were studied under anesthesia. PH of 25 and 40 mm Hg (by administration of the thromboxane analog U46619), CO decreases, and CO increases were induced to test the different CO measurement techniques over a broad range of hemodynamic situations. Before each step, a new baseline data set was collected. CO values were compared using Bland-Altman analysis; trending abilities were assessed via concordance and polar plot analysis. The influence of pulmonary pressure on CO measurements was analyzed using linear mixed models.

RESULTS: A mean bias of -0.26 L/min with prediction intervals of -0.88 to 1.4 L/min was measured between TPTD and FICK. Their concordance rate was 100% (94%-100% confidence interval), and the mean polar angle -3° with radial limits of agreement of ±28° indicated good trending abilities. PATD compared with FICK also showed good trending ability. Comparisons of PiCCO and CCO versus FICK revealed low agreement and poor trending results with concordance rates of 84% (71%-93%) and 88% (74%-95%), mean polar angles from -17° and -19°, and radial limits of agreement of ±45° and 40°. Pulmonary pressures influenced only the difference between FICK and PiCCO, as assessed by linear mixed models.

CONCLUSIONS: TPTD compared with FICK was able to track all changes induced during the study period, including those by PH. It yielded better agreement than PATD both compared with FICK. PiCCO and CCO were not mapping all changes correctly, and when used clinically in unstable patients, regular controls with intermittent techniques are required. Acute pharmacologically induced PH did influence the difference between FICK and PiCCO.

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