Interobserver reproducibility in deriving cardiac output by measuring aortic blood flow velocity and diameter with imaging and Doppler ultrasound was investigated in 20 healthy infants born at full term. Aortic diameter was measured in three ways. Mean blood flow velocity was measured at three sites with both continuous wave and pulsed Doppler. Two observers carried out each study independently. Intraobserver reproducibility was investigated in 12 infants using the suprasternal site for measuring blood flow velocity. The most reproducible determination of cardiac output was found when the suprasternal site with continuous wave Doppler was used for measurement of blood flow velocity and M mode trailing edge to leading edge echocardiography was used for diameter. Normal mean (2 SD) cardiac output is 231 (77) ml/kg/min. Technical difficulties in measuring aortic diameter accurately limit direct comparison between infants.
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