Transpulmonary Thermodilution Versus Transthoracic Echocardiography for Cardiac Output Measurements in Severely Burned Children

Paul Wurzer, Ludwik K. Branski, Marc G. Jeschke, Arham Ali, Michael P. Kinsky, Fredrick J. Bohanon, Gabriel Hundeshagen, William B. Norbury, Felicia N. Williams, Lars P. Kamolz, Celeste C. Finnerty, David N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: Severe burns trigger a hyperdynamic state, necessitating accurate measurement of cardiac output (CO) for cardiovascular observation and guiding fluid resuscitation. However, it is unknown whether, in burned children, the increasingly popular transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) method of CO measurement is as accurate as the widely used transpulmonary thermodilution (TPTD) method. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively compared near-simultaneously performed CO measurements in severely burned children using TPTD with the Pulse index Continuous Cardiac Output (PiCCO) system or TTE. Outcomes were compared using t tests, multiple linear regression, and a Bland-Altman plot. Results: Fifty-four children (9±5 years) with 68±18% total body surface area burns were studied. An analysis of 105 data pairs revealed that PiCCO yielded higher CO measurements than TTE (190±39% vs. 150±50% predicted values; P<0.01). PiCCO-and TTE-derived CO measurements correlated moderately well (R 2 =0.54, P<0.01). A Bland-Altman plot showed a mean bias of 1.53L/min with a 95% prediction interval of 4.31L/min. Conclusions: TTE-derived estimates of CO may underestimate severity of the hyperdynamic state in severely burned children. We propose using the PiCCO system for objective cardiovascular monitoring and to guide goal-directed fluid resuscitation in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-253
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Burns
  • cardiac index
  • cardiac output
  • hypermetabolism
  • transpulmonary thermodilution
  • transthoracic echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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