Cardiac Index (CI), Stroke Volume Index (SVI)
Cardiac index is the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute indexed to the real body surface area (BSA); the cardiac index represents the global blood flow. The PiCCO technology provides discontinuously (transpulmonary thermodilution) and continuously (pulse contour analysis) measured values.
A decrease in cardiac index is a clear alarm signal and requires appropriate measures to improve the situation. However, knowledge of the cardiac index alone does not provide adequate information for therapeutic decision making as the cardiac index is influenced by several factors.
Stroke volume is dependent on preload, afterload and contractility. Thus, in addition to the cardiac index, further information on its determinants is required for appropriate treatment strategies.