The Impact of Phenylephrine, Ephedrine, and Increased Preload on Third-Generation Vigileo-FloTrac and Esophageal Doppler Cardiac Output Measurements

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BACKGROUND:Cardiac output (CO) monitoring based on pulse contour analysis (Vigileo-FloTrac) has the potential to be used for goal-directed fluid therapy in the perioperative setting. However, factors such as vasopressor usage may impact Vigileo-FloTrac's reliability in tracking CO changes. We tested third-generation Vigileo-FloTrac system's ability to accurately measure the changes in CO induced by vasopressor administration and increased preload in comparison with esophageal Doppler measurements.METHODS:In 33 anesthetized patients, CO was monitored simultaneously by the third-generation Vigileo-FloTrac and esophageal Doppler. Hemodynamic challenges included phenylephrine (to increase vasomotor tone), ephedrine (to increase myocardial contractility and heart rate), and whole-body tilting (to increase preload). Measurements were performed before and after each intervention.RESULTS:Overall, 176 pairs of CO measurements were obtained. The difference between paired pulse contour and Doppler measurements of CO was 0.14 ± 2.13 L/min (mean ± SD), and the percentage error (2 SD of the difference divided by the mean CO of the reference method) was 66%. The trending ability of pulse contour versus Doppler was 23% (concordance, the percentage of the total number of data points that are in 1 of the 2 quadrants of agreement) after phenylephrine treatment, 69% (concordance) after ephedrine treatment, and 96% (concordance) after whole-body tilting.CONCLUSIONS:The pulse contour method of measuring CO, as implemented in the third-generation Vigileo-FloTrac device, accurately tracks changes in CO when preload changes. However, the pulse contour method does not accurately track changes in CO induced with phenylephrine and ephedrine.

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