Minimally Invasive Cardiac Output Monitoring in the Perioperative Setting

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With advancing age and increased co-morbidities in patients, the need for monitoring devices during the perioperative period that allow clinicians to track physiologic variables, such as cardiac output (CO), fluid responsiveness and tissue perfusion, is increasing. Until recently, the only tool available to anesthesiologists to monitor CO was either a pulmonary artery catheter or transesophageal echocardiograph. These devices have their limitations and potential for morbidity. Several new devices (including esophageal Doppler monitors, pulse contour analysis, indicator dilution, thoracic bioimpedance and partial non-rebreathing systems) have recently been marketed which have the ability to monitor CO noninvasively and, in some cases, assess the patient’s ability to respond to fluid challenges. In this review, we will describe these new devices including the technology, studies on their efficacy and the limitations of their use.

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