Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Critical Care and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Early non-invasive cardiac output monitoring in hemodynamically unstable intensive care patients: A multi-center randomized controlled trial

Jukka Takala1*, Esko Ruokonen2, Jyrki J Tenhunen3, Ilkka Parviainen2 and Stephan M Jakob1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Bern University Hospital (Inselspital), and University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland

2 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Kuopio University Hospital, P.O. Box 1777, 70211 Kuopio, Finland

3 Critical Care Medicine Research Group, Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, Teiskontie 35, 33521 Tampere, Finland

For all author emails, please log on.

Critical Care 2011, 15:R148  doi:10.1186/cc10273


See related commentary by Cecconi and Bennett, http://ccforum.com/content/15/4/173

Published: 15 June 2011

Abstract

Introduction

Acute hemodynamic instability increases morbidity and mortality. We investigated whether early non-invasive cardiac output monitoring enhances hemodynamic stabilization and improves outcome.

Methods

A multicenter, randomized controlled trial was conducted in three European university hospital intensive care units in 2006 and 2007. A total of 388 hemodynamically unstable patients identified during their first six hours in the intensive care unit (ICU) were randomized to receive either non-invasive cardiac output monitoring for 24 hrs (minimally invasive cardiac output/MICO group; n = 201) or usual care (control group; n = 187). The main outcome measure was the proportion of patients achieving hemodynamic stability within six hours of starting the study.

Results

The number of hemodynamic instability criteria at baseline (MICO group mean 2.0 (SD 1.0), control group 1.8 (1.0); P = .06) and severity of illness (SAPS II score; MICO group 48 (18), control group 48 (15); P = .86)) were similar. At 6 hrs, 45 patients (22%) in the MICO group and 52 patients (28%) in the control group were hemodynamically stable (mean difference 5%; 95% confidence interval of the difference -3 to 14%; P = .24). Hemodynamic support with fluids and vasoactive drugs, and pulmonary artery catheter use (MICO group: 19%, control group: 26%; P = .11) were similar in the two groups. The median length of ICU stay was 2.0 (interquartile range 1.2 to 4.6) days in the MICO group and 2.5 (1.1 to 5.0) days in the control group (P = .38). The hospital mortality was 26% in the MICO group and 21% in the control group (P = .34).

Conclusions

Minimally-invasive cardiac output monitoring added to usual care does not facilitate early hemodynamic stabilization in the ICU, nor does it alter the hemodynamic support or outcome. Our results emphasize the need to evaluate technologies used to measure stroke volume and cardiac output--especially their impact on the process of care--before any large-scale outcome studies are attempted.

Trial Registration

The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (Clinical Trials identifier NCT00354211)