Performance of a capnodynamic method estimating effective pulmonary blood flow during transient and sustained hypercapnia
In a previous study a new capnodynamic method for estimation of effective pulmonary blood flow (COEPBF) presented a good trending ability but a poor agreement with a reference cardiac output (CO) measurement at high levels of PEEP. In this study we aimed at evaluating the agreement and trending ability of a modified COEPBF algorithm that uses expiratory instead of inspiratory holds during CO and ventilatory manipulations. COEPBF was evaluated in a porcine model at different PEEP levels, tidal volumes and CO manipulations (N = 8). An ultrasonic flow probe placed around the pulmonary trunk was used for CO measurement. We tested the COEPBF algorithm using a modified breathing pattern that introduces cyclic end-expiratory time pauses. The subsequent changes in mean alveolar fraction of carbon dioxide were integrated into a capnodynamic equation and effective pulmonary blood flow, i.e. non-shunted CO, was calculated continuously breath by breath. The overall agreement between COEPBF and the reference method during all interventions was good with bias (limits of agreement) 0.05 (−1.1 to 1.2) L/min and percentage error of 36 %. The overall trending ability as assessed by the four-quadrant and the polar plot methodology was high with a concordance rate of 93 and 94 % respectively. The mean polar angle was 0.4 (95 % CI −3.7 to 4.5)°. A ventilatory pattern recurrently introducing end-expiratory pauses maintains a good agreement between COEPBF and the reference CO method while preserving its trending ability during CO and ventilatory alterations.