Hemodynamic Effects of Diuresis at Rest and During Intense Upright Exercise in Patients with Impaired Cardiac Function
Although diuretic therapy appears to improve the exercise capacity of patients with moderately impaired cardiac function, the hemodynamic basis for this improvement is not clear. It is also unknown to what extent the moderate diuresis that often occurs during the first few days of hospitalization contributes to the normal or nearly normal hemodynamic measurements obtained in certain patients with cardiac impairment who are thought clinically to have signs and symptoms of pulmonary congestion. Accordingly, the circulatory response to moderate diuresis resulting in a loss of weight averaging 3.4 kg was investigated in 15 patients with heart disease. At rest in the supine position mean pulmonary arterial wedge pressure fell after diuresis from an average of 24 to 13 mm Hg. Reductions also occurred in mean pulmonary arterial pressure (42 to 26 mm Hg), mean right atrial pressure (9 to 4 mm Hg), and right ventricular end-diastolic pressure (11 to 6 mm Hg). Cardiac output decreased by an average of 20%, mean systemic arterial pressure by 12%, right ventricular stroke work by 44%, and left ventricular stroke work by 25%. Diuresis also caused similar reductions in these values in the sitting position at rest and during mild and intense levels of treadmill exercise. Despite the reductions in cardiac output, all but one of the patients studied achieved substantial clinical improvement from the diuresis. Such improvement probably resulted from the fact that the beneficial effects of lower pulmonary vascular pressures outweighed the deleterious effect of a reduction in cardiac output. Thus, moderate changes in body weight brought about by either fluid retention or fluid loss may result in substantial alterations in circulatory dynamics. These changes, if unrecognized, can lead to considerable confusion when attempts are made to correlate the hemodynamic findings with the degree of cardiac decompensation as judged clinically.
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart function tests
- Cardiac output
- Cardiovascular system
- Heart catheterization
- Exercise test
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.