Pulse contour cardiac output measurement

This chapter is relevant to Section G6(iii) of the 2023 CICM Primary Syllabus, which expects the exam candidate to "describe the methods of measurement of cardiac output, including limitations, potential sources of error, the need for calibration and the values obtained". 

Measurement of Cardiac Output from Pulse Contour

The technique relies heavily on the compliance of the vascular tree. It requires to be calibrated by a thermodilution measurement.

If the characteristics of the blood vessels change (i.e. if the patient becomes rather more vasoconstricted or vasodilated) the whole system needs to be recalibrated.

pulse contour cardiac output

The hideous maths, you ask? What are they?

the maths behind pulse contour cardiac output


From Bersten and Soni’s” Oh's Intensive Care Manual”, 6th Edition, as well as http://www.pulsion.com/ who are sadly the best source for this sort of information.