Evaluation of a continuous cardiac output and mixed venous oxygen saturation catheter in critically ill surgical patients

S A Burchell, M Yu, S A Takiguchi, R M Ohta, S A Myers
Critical Care Medicine 1997, 25 (3): 388-91

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the agreement of continuous cardiac output and mixed venous oxygen saturation measurements, obtained with a modified pulmonary artery catheter, with those values obtained by standard intermittent bolus thermodilution and cooximetry.

DESIGN: Prospective, clinical investigation.

SETTING: A surgical intensive care unit in a tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS: Twenty-one adult critically ill surgical patients, requiring pulmonary artery catheter monitoring.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A modified pulmonary artery catheter capable of continuous monitoring of cardiac output and mixed venous oxygen saturation was used with either an 8.5-Fr or a 9-Fr introducer. At random intervals, the continuous cardiac output measurement was compared with the cardiac output obtained using standard intermittent bolus thermodilution. The system was calibrated every 24 hrs for mixed venous oxygen saturation monitoring. Each saturation obtained by the laboratory cooximeter was compared with that value recorded using the catheter. Data points for 202 pairs of cardiac output (21 patients, 31 catheters) and 65 pairs of mixed venous oxygen saturation (20 patients, 28 catheters) were obtained. The bias and precision of the cardiac output data were 0.49 and 1.01 L/min, respectively. The agreement between the continuous and bolus values decreased as the cardiac output increased. Heart rate did not affect the agreement between the continuous and bolus techniques. The bias and precision of the mixed venous oxygen saturation data were -0.57% and 3.76%, respectively. The hematocrit did not affect the bias or precision of the venous saturation data over the hematocrit range observed (23.2% to 44.6%). Fewer catheter malfunctions were observed when the catheter was used with a 9-Fr introducer than with an 8.5-Fr introducer.

CONCLUSIONS: The test catheter adequately measures continuous cardiac output and mixed venous oxygen saturation in the clinical setting. Because intermittent bolus thermodilution is not a true "gold standard" for cardiac output determination, new techniques compared with bolus thermodilution may fail to achieve accuracy expectations. A 9-Fr introducer is recommended, as fiberoptic damage may have occurred when the 8.5-Fr introducer was used.


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