Background Few data are available on the accuracy of thermodilution measurements of cardiac index with room-temperature injectates and a closed delivery system in patients with low cardiac indexes and/or hypothermic body temperatures.
Objective To compare iced and room-temperature injectates for thermodilution measurement of cardiac index in postoperative cardiac surgical patients during hypothermia and normothermia.
Methods In a convenience sample of cardiac surgical patients in a cardiac recovery unit, cardiac index was measured with both room-temperature and iced injectates during hypothermia (≤36.0°C) and normothermia (≥36.1°C and ≤38.0°C). Device bias and precision were calculated and graphed by using the Bland-Altman method. A Student t test was used to determine differences between cardiac indexes by injectate temperature.
Results A total of 38 patients were studied. Mean bias and precision for room-temperature and iced injectates in all patients were 0.11 (SD, 0.27) during hypothermia and −0.03 (SD, 0.21) during normothermia. In hypothermic patients, cardiac index differed significantly between room-temperature and iced injectates (t1,37 = 2.41, P = .02). Cardiac index measurements did not differ between room-temperature and iced injectates in normothermic patients (P = .33).
Conclusions Although significant differences in thermodilution cardiac index were found between room-temperature and iced injectates during hypothermic body temperatures, these differences were small (mean, <0.11). These findings add to the results of the few studies on accuracy of room-temperature injectates for thermodilution measurement of cardiac index.