Cardiac output (CO) monitoring is useful for sports performance training, but most methods are unsuitable as they are invasive or hinder performance. The performance of PhysioFlow (PF), a portable noninvasive transthoracic bioimpedance CO monitor, was evaluated and compared with a reference Doppler CO monitor, USCOM, using a head-up tilt (HUT) test. With ethics committee approval, 20 healthy well-trained athletes were subjected to HUT in a fixed order of 0°, 70°, 30°, and 0° for 3 min each. Simultaneous hemodynamic measurements using PF and USCOM were made 30 s after a change in HUT and analyzed using t tests, ANOVA, and mountain plots. Heart rate (HR) and stroke volume (SV) from both monitors changed according to physiological expectation of tilt, but PF measurements of SV were higher with a positive bias (PF vs. USCOM, 0°: 87.3 vs. 54.0 mL, P < 0.001; 70°: 76.5 vs. 39.5 mL, P < 0.001; 30°: 81.4 vs. 50.1 mL, P < 0.001; 0°: 88.3 vs. 57.1 mL, P < 0.001). Relative changes in SV (δSV) after each tilt measured using PF were lower with a negative bias (PF vs. USCOM, 0° to 70°: -12.3% vs. -26.3%, P = 0.002; 70° to 30°: +6.4% vs. +31.2%, P < 0.001; 30° to 0°: +9.2% vs. +15.8%, P = 0.280). CO measurements using PF at 70° were erroneous. Compared with USCOM, PF overestimated SV measurements but underestimated the δSV between HUT. Accuracy of the PF deteriorated at 70°, implying a gravitational influence on its performance. These findings suggested that the suitability of PF for sports use is questionable. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The use of impedance cardiography to monitor physiological changes in sports is rarely reported. Using head-up tilt test, we evaluated a portable noninvasive impedance cardiography device (PhysioFlow) by comparing it with a reference Doppler monitor (USCOM). Accuracy in tracking hemodynamic changes deteriorated with higher tilt, implying a gravitational influence on its performance. Stroke volume measurements were overestimated, but the changes were underestimated. Despite its convenient physical features, the suitability of PhysioFlow for sports use is questionable.
- Cardiac output
- Doppler ultrasound cardiac output monitor
- Impedance cardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)