The effect of the Valsalva maneuver on echocardiographic dimensions in man.
Physiologic changes in the circulatory system caused by performing the Valsalva maneuver are blunted or absent in patients with congestive heart failure. Previously there has been no noninvasive method for examining cardiac chamber size during this maneuver. M-mode echocardiography was used to evaluate possible changes in cardiac chamber dimensions in 12 normal subjects (group I) and 15 patients with cardiovascular disease (group II). In group I, the left ventricular end-diastolic dimension decreased 11.2% (+/- 1.5%) and the end-systolic dimension 9.5% (+/- 1.32%), with a fall in stroke volume of 29%. The left atrial (LA) dimension decreased 30%. In group II, only the response of the LA dimension is reported. There was a diminished response to Valsalva related to the severity of congestive heart failure. Patients in NYHA classes III and IV decreased LA dimension by only 3.8%, significantly less (P less than 0.001) than those in classes I and II who had essentially normal responses. Echocardiographically-determined changes in left atrial size in response to the Valsalva maneuver may provide an objective, noninvasive means of evaluating and following patients with suspected or proven congestive heart failure. Possible mechanisms for the changes observed are discussed.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association