After reading this chapter you should be able to:

define Fick’s principle (cf. Fick’s law of diffusion) (7.1);

apply Fick’s principle to estimate pulmonary blood flow from measurements of O2 uptake (7.1);

draw a typical concentration or temperature versus time plot for the indicator or thermal dilution method, and explain how cardiac output is derived from it (7.2);

outline three modern ‘high-tech’ methods for estimating human stroke volume (7.3, 7.5);

describe the relationship between central arterial pulse and cardiac output (7.4);

define arterial compliance and state three major factors affecting it (7.4).