Use of a Doppler pulmonary artery catheter for continuous measurement of right ventricular pump function and contractility during single lung transplantation
Ventricular Function, Right
Despite numerous technologic advances in intraoperative monitoring, the only methods routinely available for assessment of right ventricular function in lung transplant recipients are continuous measurement of right heart pressures and intermittent thermodilution determination of cardiac output and ejection fraction. Additional data may now be obtained with transesophageal echocardiography, although this technology is expensive and not widely available and requires diverting attention from a potentially unstable patient for data acquisition and analysis. Recently, a Doppler pulmonary artery catheter was introduced that measures beat-to-beat pulmonary artery blood flow-velocity, cross sectional area, and volume flow. Because of data indicating that acceleration of blood in the pulmonary artery (measured as the first derivative of either the velocity or flow waveform) is a sensitive indicator of right ventricular contractility, we have used waveforms obtained with the catheter for assessment of right ventricular pump function (stroke volume and peak pulmonary artery flow rate) and contractility in heart surgery patients. We report here our experience with this method in two patients undergoing left single lung transplantation.