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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 6/2014 Open Access

Critical Care 6/2014

Impedance cardiography (electrical velocimetry) and transthoracic echocardiography for non-invasive cardiac output monitoring in pediatric intensive care patients: a prospective single-center observational study

Critical Care > Ausgabe 6/2014
Martin Ernst Blohm, Denise Obrecht, Jana Hartwich, Goetz Christoph Mueller, Jan Felix Kersten, Jochen Weil, Dominique Singer
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13054-014-0603-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The Aesculon® monitor used in this study was provided for study purposes free of charge by the manufacturer. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.



Electrical velocimetry (EV) is a type of impedance cardiography, and is a non-invasive and continuously applicable method of cardiac output monitoring. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is non-invasive but discontinuous.


We compared EV with TTE in pediatric intensive care patients in a prospective single-center observational study. Simultaneous, coupled, left ventricular stroke volume measurements were performed by EV using an Aesculon® monitor and TTE (either via trans-aortic valve flow velocity time integral [EVVTI], or via M-mode [EVMM]). H0: bias was less than 10% and the mean percentage error (MPE) was less than 30% in Bland–Altman analysis between EV and TTE. If appropriate, data were logarithmically transformed prior to Bland–Altman analysis.


A total of 72 patients (age: 2 days to 17 years; weight: 0.8 to 86 kg) were analyzed. Patients were divided into subgroups: organ transplantation (OTX, n =28), sepsis or organ failure (SEPSIS, n =16), neurological patients (NEURO, n =9), and preterm infants (PREM, n =26); Bias/MPE for EVVTI was 7.81%/26.16%. In the EVVTI subgroup analysis for OTX, NEURO, and SEPSIS, bias and MPE were within the limits of H0, whereas the PREM subgroup had a bias/MPE of 39.00%/46.27%. Bias/MPE for EVMM was 8.07%/37.26% where the OTX and NEURO subgroups were within the range of H0, but the PREM and SEPSIS subgroups were outside the range. Mechanical ventilation, non-invasive continuous positive airway pressure ventilation, body weight, and secondary abdominal closure were factors that significantly affected comparison of the methods.


This study shows that EV is comparable with aortic flow-based TTE for pediatric patients.
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