Cutaneous blood flow may be measured utilizing a continuous, noninvasive technique, laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV). Monitoring of cutaneous blood flow by LDV might be a useful method to monitor cardiac output. To test this hypothesis, sequential measurements of cardiac output, LDV, and transcutaneous oxygen (Ptco2) were made on 10 anesthetized dogs during experimental shock. There was significant correlation between LDV and cardiac output, while Ptco2 reflected cardiac output only at low flow states. These results show that, in the animal model, cutaneous LDV is a sensitive and specific method for monitoring cardiac output changes.