Cardiac output was determined in 20 patients with various cardiac conditions by measuring the cross sectional area of the mitral orifice by echocardiography and the transmitral flow by the Doppler technique. Cardiac output was calculated by multiplying the corrected mitral orifice area by the maximum diastolic velocity integral recorded by the pulsed mode. The results were compared with that obtained by the Fick method. The correlation for cardiac output by the two techniques was high in the whole group, particularly in patients without mitral regurgitation. There was also a good correlation for stroke volume determined by the two methods. Cardiac output was significantly overestimated by the continuous mode and in patients with mitral regurgitation. These results show that the mitral orifice method provides a new and reliable approach to the non-invasive measurement of cardiac output.
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