Automated cardiac output measurement by spatiotemporal integration of color Doppler data: In vitro and clinical validation

Jing Ping Sun, Min Pu, Fetnat M. Fouad, Raymond Christian, William J. Stewart, James D. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Background: A new Doppler echocardiographic technique has been developed for automated cardiac output measurement (ACOM) that assumes neither a flat flow profile nor collinearity with the scan line, but clinical validation of this method is lacking. Methods and Results: In 165 subjects (50 intensive care patients, 10 dobutamine echocardiography patients, and 105 normal volunteers; age, 49.4±19.3 years; 92 men). ACOM was performed in the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT), with the color baseline shifted to avoid aliasing. ACOM was also tested in a pulsatile in vitro model. Stroke volume was calculated by double integration of Doppler signals in space (across the LVOT) and in time (through the systolic period), assuming hemiaxial symmetry; ∫∫ π r v(r,t) dr dt, where v(r,t) is the velocity at a distance r from the center of the LVOT at time t during systole. Stroke volume from ACOM was compared with thermodilution (TD), aortic valve pulsed-wave Doppler (PWAO), and left ventricular echocardiographic (two-dimensional [2D]) methods. There was good correlation between ACOM and PWAO (r=.93), TD (r=.86), and 2D (r=.74), with close agreement seen. ACOM had higher correlation and agreement with TD than did either PWAO (P<.02) or 2D (P<.01). ACOM was also able to track accurately the changes in cardiac output with dobutamine infusion in comparison with PWAO (r=.94). In vitro assessment demonstrated excellent correlation (r=.98, y=1.0x+1.94) with little impact of pulse repetition frequency or misalignment up to 30°. Gain dependency was noted but could be optimized by visual inspection of the color image. Conclusions: Automatic integration of numerical data within color Doppler flow fields is a feasible new method for quantifying flow. It is simpler and faster, requires fewer assumptions, and uses only one apical view, ACOM is a promising new approach to echocardiographic quantification that deserves further study and refinement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-939
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac output
  • computers
  • echocardiography
  • hemodynamics
  • systole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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