Equivalence of fast flush and square wave testing of blood pressure monitoring systems

Journal of Clinical Monitoring
B KleinmanR M Gardner


The accurate recording of intraarterial pressure depends upon an appropriate dynamic response of the monitoring system. Generation of a square wave (SW) at the catheter tip is the engineering and in vitro laboratory gold standard. Fast flush (FF) testing is the clinical test of choice. Results from these two test methods have been assumed equal but have not been empirically confirmed. We studied three different 5.1 cm catheter sizes (16 G, 18 G, 20 G Becton Dickinson, Sandy, UT) attached to three different lengths of arterial pressure tubing (36 in, 91.4 cm; 72 in, 182.9 cm; 108 in, 274.3 cm). An arterial recording system was assembled in the standard fashion by attaching a catheter to arterial pressure tubing, which was attached to a transducer (TXX-R, Ohmeda, formerly Viggo-Spectramed, Oxnard, CA) whose signal was recorded by a strip chart recorder (Gould 2400, Rolling Meadows, IL). The system was attached to a pressurized saline flush. The catheter tip was inserted into one port of a pressure generator. With the other port of the pressure generator open to atmosphere, FF tests were performed by activating the flush device of the transducer. Subsequent step response signals from the FF tests were then recorded from which natu...Continue Reading


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