Effect of Breathing Oxygen in Patients with Severe Pulmonary Vascular Obstructive Disease
During cardiac catheterization in nine patients with ventricular septal defect and seven patients with truncus arteriosus, all with severe pulmonary vascular obstructive disease, hemodynamics were compared while they were breathing first room air and then 100% oxygen. Patients with higher pulmonary vascular resistance had higher systemic vascular resistances. With 100% oxygen, pulmonary vascular resistance decreased and systemic vascular resistance increased in both groups. The effect of oxygen was found to be more pronounced on the systemic than on the pulmonary vascular bed in the patients studied. Indicator-dilution dye curves changed and exhibited characteristics of left-to-right shunts in patients with severe pulmonary vascular obstructive disease, as a result solely of an increase in systemic resistance; that is, without a decrease in pulmonary resistance. It is suggested that in patients with severe pulmonary vascular obstructive disease maintenance of an increased systemic resistance is essential to well being and is a factor in longevity. It is also suggested that any transient decrease in systemic resistance in these patients might initiate a vicious cycle leading to sudden death.
- Received August 3, 1971.
- Accepted August 21, 1972.
- © 1973 American Heart Association, Inc.