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Pulse Contour Cardiac Output Monitoring (PiCCO) provides continuous information about how well the heart is functioning. The monitoring may be through a stand alone machine (such as the one pictured to the right) or integrated into the patient monitor.

PICCO Monitor

What are the indications?

It is used to:

  • Assess cardiac function
  • Assess volume status
  • Evaluate treatment

The indications for a PiCCO include:

How Does It Work?

The Intensive Care team will need to insert two catheters into the patient. One is a central venous catheter, which may already be in place. The other is a special arterial catheter, usually placed in the groin of the patient. Using these two catheters the PiCCO can give a great deal of information about the ability of the heart to pump efficiently as well as telling the Intensive Care team if the patient requires more or less intravenous fluids.

Are There Any Complications?

All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for the patient.

Any Further Concerns?

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.


Please note these translations are based on an earlier version of this page.


PiCCO Version 1.3
First published June 2004
Reviewed March 2010
Reviewer Kaye Rolls CNC ICCMU

The information contained on this page is general in nature and therefore cannot reflect individual patient variation. In addition it reflects Australian intensive care practice which may differ from other countries. It is meant as a back up to specific information which will be discussed with you by the Doctors and Nurses caring for your loved one. ICCMU attests to the accuracy of the information contained here BUT takes no responsibility for how it may apply to an individual patient. Please refer to the full disclaimer.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 March 2010 09:53