Objective: Most severe pregnancy complications are characterized by profound hemodynamic disturbances, thus there is a need for validated hemodynamic monitoring systems for pregnant women. Pulmonary artery catheterization (PAC) using thermodilution is the clinical gold standard for the measurement of cardiac output (CO), however this reference method is rarely performed owing to its invasive nature. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) allows non-invasive determination of CO. We aimed to validate TTE against PAC for the determination of CO in severely ill pregnant women. Methods: This study consisted of a meta-analysis combining data from a prospective study and a systematic review. The prospective arm was conducted in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2003. Women with severe pregnancy complications requiring invasive monitoring with PAC according to contemporary guidelines were included. TTE was performed within 15min of PAC and the investigator was blinded to the PAC measurements. Comparative measurements were extracted from similar studies retrieved from a systematic review of the literature and added to a database. Simultaneous CO measurements by TTE and PAC were compared. Agreement between methods was assessed using Bland-Altman statistics and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Results: Thirty-four comparative measurements were included in the meta-analysis. Mean CO values obtained by PAC and TTE were 7.39L/min and 7.18L/min, respectively. The bias was 0.21L/min with lower and upper limits of agreement of -1.18L/min and 1.60L/min, percentage error was 19.1%, and ICC between the two methods was 0.94. Conclusions: CO measurements by TTE show excellent agreement with those obtained by PAC in pregnant women. Given its non-invasive nature and availability, TTE could be considered as a reference for the validation of other CO techniques in pregnant women.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cardiac output, Pregnancy, Pulmonary artery catheter, Swan-Ganz, Systematic review, Transthoracic echocardiography
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/uog.16015, hdl.handle.net/1765/95013
Journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Cornette, J.M.J, Laker, S., Jeffery, B., Lombaard, H., Alberts, A., Rizopoulos, D, … Pattinson, R.C. (2017). Validation of maternal cardiac output assessed by transthoracic echocardiography against pulmonary artery catheterization in severely ill pregnant women: Prospective comparative study and systematic review. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Vol. 49, pp. 25–31). doi:10.1002/uog.16015