Evaluation of cardiac output from a tidally ventilated homogeneous lung model

Habib Benallal, Kenneth C. Beck, Bruce D. Johnson, Thierry Busso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We used the direct Fick measurements to validate a method for estimating cardiac output by iteratively fitting V̇CO2 at the mouth to lung model values. This model was run using a series of 50, 30 and 10 breaths to test sensitivity to number of breaths used for fitting. The lung was treated as a catenary two-compartment lung model consisting of a dead space compartment connected with a single alveolar space compartment, perfused with constant pulmonary blood flow. The implemented mathematical modeling described variations in O2 and CO2 compartmental fractions and alveolar volume. This model also included pulmonary capillary gas exchange. Experimental data were collected from measurements performed on six healthy subjects at rest and during 20, 40, 60 and 85-90% of peak V̇O2. The correlation between the two methods was highest and the average agreement between the methods was best using 50 breaths (R = 0.95; P<0.0001; Q̇model = 1.1 Q̇Fik - 2.3). The mean difference and lower to upper limits of agreement between measured and estimated data were 0.7 l/min (-2.7 to 4.1 l/min) for cardiac output; -0.9 ml/100 ml (-1.3 to -0.5 ml/100 ml) for arterial O2 content; -0.8 ml/100 ml (-3.8 to 2.2 ml/100 ml) for mixed venous O2 content and -0.1 ml/100 ml (-2.9 to 2.7 ml/100 ml) for arteriovenous difference O2 content. The cardiac output estimated by the lung model was in good agreement with the direct Fick measurements in young healthy subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Cyclic breathing
  • Direct Fick method
  • Exercise
  • Gas exchange
  • Modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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