Critical Investigation of the Pulse Contour Method for Obtaining Beat-By-Beat Cardiac Output
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The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of two existing pulse contour analysis (PCA) models for estimating cardiac stroke volume from the arterial pressure waveform during kicking ergometer exercise and head-up tilt manoeuvres. Secondly, one of the existing models was modified in an attempt to enhance its performance. In part I, seven healthy young adults repeated two submaximal exercise sessions on a kicking ergometer, each with three different sets of steady-state cardiac output comparisons (pulsed Doppler vs. pulse contour). Across all exercise trials regression results were found to be PCA = 1. 23 x Doppler-1. 38 with an r2 = 0. 51. In part II, eight young and eight older male healthy subjects participated in a head-up tilt experiment. Cardiac output comparisons were again performed during the supine and tilt conditions using pulsed Doppler and pulse contour cardiac output. Regression results revealed that PCA performed best during supine conditions and preferentially on the older subjects. In all instances, impedance-calibrated pulse contour analysis will provide reasonable beat-by-beat cardiac output within very narrow confines and will result in a progressively more significant bias as cardiovascular dynamics change. In addition, it appears that heart rate variability negatively influences beat-by-beat pulse contour cardiac output results, further limiting application of existing models.