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Non-invasive estimation of cardiac index in healthy volunteers

Department of Intensive Care, Austin Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria


The primary objective was to non-invasively measure the cardiac index (CI) and associated haemodynamic parameters of healthy volunteers and their changes with age. This was a single centre, prospective, observational study of healthy volunteers aged between 20 and 59 years, using the ClearSight™ (Edwards Life Sciences, Irvine, CA, USA) device. We recorded 514 observations in 97 participants. The mean CI was 3.5 l/min/m2 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 3.4 to 3.7 l/min/m2). The mean stroke volume index (SVI) was 47 ml/m2 (95% CI 45 to 49 ml/m2) and the mean systemic vascular resistance index was 2,242 dyne.s/cm5/m2 (95% CI 2,124 to 2,365 dyne.s/cm5/m2). There was an inverse linear relationship between increasing age and CI (P <0.0001), which decreased by 0.044 l/min/m2 (95% CI  -0.032 to -0.056 l/min/m2) per year. This change was mostly due to a decrease in SVI of 0.45 ml/m2 (95% CI 0.32 to 0.57 ml/m2) per year (P <0.0001). The mean CI of young healthy humans is approximately 3.5 l/min/m2 and declines by approximately 40 ml/min/m2 per year, mostly due to a decline in stroke volume (SV). These findings have significant implications regarding the clinical interpretation of haemodynamic parameters and the application of these results to individual patients.

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