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    Chief Complaint


    Organ System


    Patent Pending

    Cardiac Output (Fick’s Formula)

    Calculates cardiac output, cardiac index, and stroke volume.
    When to Use
    Why Use

    • Inpatients with suspected cardiogenic shock and a pulmonary artery catheter in place.

    • For patients undergoing right or left heart catheterization to determine cardiac output (CO), cardiac index (CI), and stroke volume (SV).

    • The two most widely used ways of calculating CO are Fick’s method and the thermodilution technique. Fick’s method is based on the principle that oxygen consumption is equal to the product of the organ’s blood flow (CO) and the difference in the concentration of the substance in the arterial and venous circulation (arterial-venous oxygen difference).

    • Fick’s method is less reliable in patients with pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, or abnormal body habitus.

    • The thermodilution technique is less reliable in patients with tricuspid regurgitation or intracardiac shunting.

    • Assesses cardiac capacity and aids in hemodynamic assessment.

    • Guides management in cardiogenic shock patients, specifically to assess effectiveness of fluid resuscitation, vasopressors, or inotropic support.

    <70 years
    ≥70 years


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    Creator Insights
    Dr. Adolf E. Fick

    About the Creator

    Adolf E. Fick, MD, (d. 1901) was a physiologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Dr. Fick’s research focused primarily on physiology and medical physics.
    Are you Dr. Adolf E. Fick? Send us a message to review your photo and bio, and find out how to submit Creator Insights!
    MDCalc loves calculator creators – researchers who, through intelligent and often complex methods, discover tools that describe scientific facts that can then be applied in practice. These are real scientific discoveries about the nature of the human body, which can be invaluable to physicians taking care of patients.
    Content Contributors
    Reviewed By
    • On Chen, MD
    About the Creator
    Dr. Adolf E. Fick
    Are you Dr. Adolf E. Fick?
    Content Contributors
    Reviewed By
    • On Chen, MD