IS THE CARDIAC OUTPUT OBTAINED FROM A SWAN-GANZ CATHETER ALWAYS ZERO?

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Abstract

Objective

By means of a Swan-Ganz catheter cardiac output is calculated using the Stewart-Hamilton thermodilution equation. Assuming the body as a thermally isolated inert system, this equation theoretically always results in zero cardiac output.

Methods

Using the first and second law of thermodynamics together with a few lines simple analysis this statement is proven.

Conclusion

It is at least a necessary condition for the application of the Stewart-Hamilton equation, that core body temperature is kept constant in a thermo- regulatory steady state.

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