Descending aortic blood flow and cardiac output: A clinical and experimental study of continuous oesophageal echo-Doppler flowmetry

H. Odenstedt, A. Åneman, Y. Oi, M. Svensson, O. Stenqvist, S. Lundin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Several studies have demonstrated that perioperative optimisation of oxygen delivery and haemodynamics can reduce mortality and morbidity for high-risk surgical patients. To optimise cardiac output, reliable, continuous and "less invasive" methods for measuring cardiac output are urgently needed. Methods: Eight landrace pigs were studied during experimental repeated cardiac tamponade and 14 patients during liver transplantation. Aortic blood flow was measured by using transoesophageal echo-Doppler technique. A total of 91 paired measurements of aortic blood flow and cardiac output with different techniques were performed in the pigs and 124 paired measurements in the patients. Results: Transoesophageal echo-Doppler did provide continuous real-time monitoring of the rapid and dramatic haemodynamic changes occurring during cardiac tamponade and during liver transplantation, while only intermittent information was obtained from the bolus thermodilution technique. Changes in haemodynamics were more difficult to detect with the "continual" cardiac output thermodilution technique. Changes in aortic blood flow closely followed changes in cardiac output determined by the bolus thermodilution technique both in pigs (r=0.89) and in patients (r=0.80). In patients, aortic blood flow constituted about 70% of cardiac output determined by the bolus thermodilution technique. Conclusions: A combined echo-Doppler technique can be valuable for continuous monitoring of haemodynamic changes in the perioperative setting, and changes in aortic blood flow agree well with corresponding changes in cardiac output intermittently obtained by thermodilution cardiac output measurements. With the combined echo-Doppler technique a proper position of the Doppler beam is greatly facilitated by the M-mode echo visualisation of the aortic wall and aortic cross-sectional area is continuously measured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Aortic blood flow
  • Cardiac output
  • Indirect calorimetry
  • Liver transplantation
  • Non-invasive
  • Porcine model
  • Transesophageal echo-Doppler


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