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Keywords:

  • cardiac output;
  • measurement method;
  • methods

Many methods of cardiac output measurement have been developed, but the number of methods useful for human pharmacological studies is limited. The ‘holy grail’ for the measurement of cardiac output would be a method that is accurate, precise, operator independent, fast responding, non-invasive, continuous, easy to use, cheap and safe. This method does not exist today. In this review on cardiac output methods used in pharmacology, the Fick principle, indicator dilution techniques, arterial pulse contour analysis, ultrasound and bio-impedance are reviewed.