The normal cardiac index in older healthy individuals: a scoping review

Luca Cioccari, Nora Luethi, Neil J Glassford, Rinaldo Bellomo
Critical Care and Resuscitation: Journal of the Australasian Academy of Critical Care Medicine 2019, 21 (1): 9-17

OBJECTIVE: Despite the growing number of older patients having major surgery, the normal resting values for the cardiac index of older patients remain unclear. We aim to derive a normative value for such patients.

DESIGN: Scoping review.

DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL for studies reporting measured values of cardiac output or cardiac index in healthy, older humans at rest.

RESULTS: We retrieved 5340 citations and assessed 412 fulltext articles for eligibility. Twenty-nine studies, published between 1964 and 2017, met our inclusion criteria. Overall, the mean cardiac index in healthy volunteers over 60 years of age was reported between 2.1 and 3.2 L/min/m2 and the mean cardiac output was between 3.1 and 6.4 L/min. A yearly decline in cardiac index (between 3.5 and 8 mL/min/m2 per year) was reported in some but not all studies. Only one study measured the cardiac index in nine people over 80 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS: The normal range of the cardiac index in older patients may be lower than previously reported. Its rate of decline with age is uncertain, but likely between 3.5 and 8 mL/min/m2 per year. Data on the normal cardiac index in people older than 80 years are scant.


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