Prediction of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and assessment of stroke volume by noninvasive impedance cardiography

H H Woltjer, H J Bogaard, J G Bronzwaer, C C de Cock, P M de Vries

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Early recognition of heart failure is important because early treatment reduces mortality and hospitalization rates. In screening for this disease, there is a need for a simple, safe, and cost-effective method to obtain cardiovascular variables. Therefore we developed a noninvasive impedance cardiographic method to predict the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) from the impedance cardiogram. The impedance cardiographic technique, though, was originally designed for stroke volume (SV) determination. The objectives of this study were to validate both variables by comparison with the paired, invasively obtained equivalents. PCWP, measured with a pulmonary artery catheter, was related to the O/C ratio from the impedance cardiogram. The O/C ratio was calculated as the amplitude of the impedance cardiogram during diastole (O) divided by the maximum height during systole (C). Stroke volume was also calculated from the impedance cardiogram according to the equation of Kubicek (SVIC) and compared with thermodilution (SVTD). Data analysis was performed in 24 stable patients who underwent diagnostic heart catheterization. Linear regression analysis showed that the O/C ratio was strongly related to the invasively measured PCWP over a range of 3 to 30 mm Hg (r = 0.92, standard error of the estimate, 3.2 mm Hg). Between SVIC and SVTD a moderate correlation was established (r = 0.69), but after exclusion of the data from patients with an aortic valve disorder (n = 5), the correlation increased considerably (r = 0.87). No significant differences between SVIC and SVTD were found (mean difference +/- 2 SD = 1.8 +/- 28.8 ml). These preliminary observations suggest that impedance cardiography can predict PCWP and measure SV over a wide range of clinically relevant values. The combined measurement of SV and PCWP by impedance cardiography might be a clinical useful tool in screening for heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-5
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997


  • Aged
  • Cardiography, Impedance/methods
  • Coronary Disease/physiopathology
  • Heart Valve Diseases/physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stroke Volume

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