Impedance Cardiography: A Potential Monitor for Hemodialysis

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Journal of Surgical Research




Background: Impedance cardiography (ICG) technology has improved dramatically, and at least one device now can give a measurement of fluid status by using thoracic fluid content (TFC), along with cardiac output (CO) and cardiac index (CI). With a built-in sphygmomanometer cuff, it can also provide blood pressure (BP) and systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI). A currently available small portable ICG that provides reliable measures of fluid status could be an ideal noninvasive monitor for hemodialysis (HD), with the potential of helping avoid significant hemodynamic instability during HD.

Methods: A case series of patients with chronic renal failure was studied while undergoing HD using ICG (BioZ®, CardioDynamics, Int. Corp., San Diego, CA). Parameters recorded at 15-min intervals included TFC, CI, BP (systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial), SVRI, and heart rate. Using the Pearson method, the percentage changes in each of the parameters during the HD session were correlated to the amount of fluid removed (FR), normalized to body weight.

Results: Forty-one patients were enrolled, but six patients were excluded due to incomplete data; therefore, 35 patients (13 men and 22 women) formed the basis of the analysis. The age range was 28 to 87 (mean 55.1 ± 16.1) years. The amount of FR was 2.88 ± 1.13 L (37.3 ± 14.6 ml/kg). TFC decreased in all patients during the HD session (average reduction 12.7 ± 8 kohms−1); whereas all other hemodynamic parameters showed both increases and decreases. The correlation of change in TFC with FR was moderate (r = 0.579, P = 0.0003); other hemodynamic parameters showed a poor correlation with FR. Neither the standard hemodynamic parameters nor the ICG device’s special parameters were able to identify the five patients in this series who experienced significant hemodynamic instability or intradialytic hypotension.

Conclusion: TFC, measured easily and noninvasively using ICG, correlates with the amount of fluid removed during HD. In comparison with the other hemodynamic parameters measured, TFC changed most consistently with fluid removal. Whether or not serial TFC measurements in a given patient at different HD sessions can guide the extent of FR will require additional study. This compact, easily operated, and nonobtrusive ICG device with the capability for continuously providing the standard hemodynamic parameters plus CO, TFC, and standard limb lead electrocardiography could replace current monitoring systems.