Background Electrical cardiometry (EC: Osypka Medical, Berlin, Germany and La Jolla, California, USA) is a new non-invasive technique for haemodynamic monitoring of neonates. No data are available for preterm babies during respiratory procedures, such as elective extubation or chest physiotherapy. We designed this study to clarify if these procedures have any haemodynamic consequences.
Methods We assessed stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), contractility index (ICON) and heart rate (HR) with EC before and after 5, 10, 15, 30 and 60 min from elective extubation or physiotherapy sessions with accelerated expiratory flow [Demont B et al , Physiotherapy 2007;93:12–16]. Functional echocardiography has been performed by the same operator before and after 60 min from the above-described respiratory procedures. Infants with congenital heart disease were not eligible.
Results Eleven (for physiotherapy) and thirteen (for extubation) preterm infants were enrolled. Gestational age and birth weight were 29.2 ± 0.5 wks and 1313 ± 915 g, respectively.
Fig.1 shows trends of SV, CO, ICON and HR before and after the procedures: no differences were noticed (p = 0.318 for SV; p = 0.559 for CO; p = 0.23 for ICON;p = 0.78 for HR, Friedman test).
No differences were found analysing separately extubation and physiotherapy groups.
Conclusions No haemodynamic changes are visible during elective extubation or chest physiotherapy in preterm infants. These preliminary results deserve further evaluation studying cerebral oxygenation with NIRS.