Until the advent of echocardiography, cardiac function in the ventilated baby was monitored by clinical assessment and invasive monitoring, which is limited by the size of the patient.
Tissue perfusion is the most relevant parameter in assessing cardiovascular function. This depends upon peripheral vascular resistance and cardiac output. Previously, heart rate and blood pressure have been utilized as indicators of these parameters, but these have significant limitations.
Echocardiography now offers a number of different modalities which can be used to assess cardiac function in the ventilated infant and provide more information upon which to base clinical decisions.
Influences on newborn cardiovascular adaptation
Effects of prematurity and respiratory disease on cardiovascular adaptation
Delayed fall in pulmonary vascular resistance
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