Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 11, pp 1889–1894

Accuracy and repeatability of pediatric cardiac output measurement using Doppler: 20-year review of the literature


DOI: 10.1007/s00134-003-1967-9

Cite this article as:
Chew, M.S. & Poelaert, J. Intensive Care Med (2003) 29: 1889. doi:10.1007/s00134-003-1967-9



Review of the accuracy and repeatability of Doppler cardiac output (CO) measurements in children.


Publications in the scientific literature retrieved using a computerized Medline search from 1982–2002 and a manual review of article bibliographies. Studies comparing Doppler flow measurements with thermodilution, Fick, or dye dilution methods in the pediatric critical care setting were identified to assess the bias, precision, and intra- and interobserver repeatability of Doppler CO measurement. Where results were not suitable for comparison and the original measurements available, data were re-analyzed using appropriate statistical methods and presented in comparative tables.


The precision of pediatric Doppler CO measurements compared to thermodilution, dye dilution, or Fick methods is around 30% and repeatability varies from less than 1% to 22%. Bias is generally less than 10% but varies considerably.


The bias, precision, and repeatability from study to study indicate that Doppler CO measurements are acceptably reproducible in children, with best results when used to track changes rather than absolute values, and using the transesophageal approach.


PediatricDopplerCardiac outputAccuracyReproducibility

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesia and Intensive CareLund University HospitalLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Intensive CareUniversity HospitalGhent Belgium