Methods to measure cardiac output in children during exercise
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Cardiac output (CO) is an indicator for fitness. Normally, CO increases during exercise. Effects of diseases upon exercise performance can be measured by comparing CO of healthy individuals and the patient. Five CO measurements are reviewed and compared based on their attractiveness to use in children during exercise. Such a technique should be non-invasive, easy to use, reliable, accurate and sensitive. The techniques reviewed are the Fick principle, acetylene rebreathing, Doppler ultrasound method, pulse pressure methods and electrical bioimpedance. In conclusion, Finapres (Nexfin), a non-invasive pulse pressure method, meets almost all criteria and is therefore the most ideal method to determine CO in children during exercise.