Cardiac Output Measurement Using the Ultrasonic Cardiac Output Monitor: A Validation Study in Newborn Infants

María V Fraga, Kevin C Dysart, Natalie Rintoul, Aasma S Chaudhary, Sarah J Ratcliffe, Anysia Fedec, Stephanie Kren, Meryl S Cohen, Haresh Kirpalani
Neonatology 2019 July 19, : 1-9

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the accuracy and validity of the Ultrasonic Cardiac Output Monitor (USCOM) measurements of cardiac output (CO) compared to echocardiography in newborn infants, and the inter-rater agreement of USCOM measurements.

METHODS: In a single-center study we prospectively evaluated neonates undergoing an echocardiographic evaluation. USCOM measurements of CO were obtained at the pulmonary and aortic valve by 2 physicians blinded to the echocardiographic results. All echocardiographic measurements were performed blinded to USCOM measurements. We first enrolled an ascertainment cohort which was subsequently validated in an independent new cohort. Agreement between echocardiography and USCOM methods was assessed by Bland-Altman analysis. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) assessed the agreement between the 2 operators. The ascertainment cohort correction factors were applied in a second validation cohort and agreement of the calibrated measures evaluated with repeat Bland-Altman comparisons.

RESULTS: A total of 50 infants were enrolled in the initial cohort and 15 in the validation cohort. There was a high degree of correlation between the USCOM operators (ICC = 0.975). USCOM measurements of CO were significantly higher compared to echocardiography (left ventricular output bias 95 ± 52 mL/kg/min and right ventricular output bias 64 ± 30 mL/kg/min). There was no difference in the subgroup of infants with and without a ductus arteriosus. After the correction was applied to the validation cohort, there was no longer a significant difference between the measures.

CONCLUSIONS: CO measured by USCOM consistently overestimated the results obtained from echocardiography. USCOM is not adequate to provide absolute estimates of CO. However, it may allow longitudinal hemodynamic assessment of sick neonates.


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