Echocardiographic evaluation of the Valsalva Maneuver in healthy subjects and patients with and without heart failure.
The Valsalva maneuver was evaluated by echocardiography in three groups: A) 10 normal volunteers, B) 10 patients with no history of heart failure and normal ejection fractions, and C) 10 patients with heart failure and depressed ejection fractions. Groups A and B had a significant fall in left ventricular internal dimensions and calculated stroke volume by end strain which returned rapidly to baseline in recovery without significant overshoot. Arterial pressure showed a signoidal strain pattern with a normal overshoot in early recovery in all group B patients. In group C ventricular dimensions did not diminish during strain; arterial pressures showed a "square wave" pressure elevation during strain without an overshoot in recovery. Echocardiography allows a new approach to evaluate further the left ventricular response to the Valsalva maneuver. Patients with severely depressed ejection fractions, unlike those with normal ventricular function, are unable to alter stroke output in response to acutely increased intrathoracic pressure. A square wave pressure response is a likely consequence of a fixed stroke output during the strain maneuver.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association