Thoracic bioreactance is a noninvasive and continuous method of cardiac output (CO) measurement that is being developed in adult patients. Very little information is available on thoracic bioreactance use in children.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the ability of a bioreactance device (NICOM®; Cheetah Medical, Tel Aviv, Israel) to estimate CO and to track changes in CO induced by volume expansion (VE) in children.
Cardiac output values obtained using the NICOM® device (CONICOM) and measured by trans–thoracic echocardiography (COTTE) were compared in pediatric neurosurgical patients during the postoperative period.
Seventy–three pairs of measurements of CO obtained in 30 children were available for analysis. The bias (lower and upper limits of agreement) between CONICOM and COTTE was –0.11 (–1.4 to 1.2) l·min–1. The percentage error (PE) was 55%. The precision of the NICOM® device was 45%. A significant correlation was observed between the CO values obtained using the two methods (r = 0.89, <0.001). The concordance percentage between changes in COTTE and CONicom induced by VE was 84% following exclusion of patients with changes in CO <15% (n = 5).
The PE observed is too large, and the limits of agreement too wide, to enable us to comment on the equivalence of the two techniques of CO measurements. However, the NICOM® device performs well in tracking changes in CO following VE.