Effect of Ambient Temperature and Cardiac Stability on Two Methods of Cardiac Output Measurement

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The dependence of cardiac output measurement precision on ambient temperature and cardiac output stability was assessed by concurrent continuous and bolus thermodilution methods in postoperative cardiac surgery patients. The degree of agreement between the two methods was depended on room temperature (0.1 L/min for each degree below 25 degrees C). The agreement was also closer in trials where cardiac output was stable (< 10% variation). The continuous thermodilution method shows sufficient agreement with the bolus method for use in critical care; however, improved precision of cardiac output thermodilution measurements can be achieved by use of correction factors for cardiac instability and for ambient temperature.