Haemodynamic monitoring may potentially lead to
improved quality of care in haemodynamic compromised
patients. However, the usefulness of invasive techniques
using the pulmonary artery catheter is questioned.
Noninvasive techniques which provide data on
haemodynamics might provide a good alternative. New
techniques have been developed in recent years to monitor cardiac output and other parameters of cardiac performance continuously and noninvasively. Recently, a new technique has become available that assesses these haemodynamic data from finger arterial pressure waveforms obtained noninvasively. Although an invasively derived calibration is still needed to obtain absolute data on cardiac output, relative changes in cardiac output can be accurately monitored using this method. Currently, the device can be used in patients to continuously monitor haemodynamic data and guide therapy. Furthermore, it might have a role in clinical research to noninvasively assess cardiac output, as a surrogate endpoint, before and after interventions.
Although this new method seems promising, the clinical
value has to be proven.