Hemodynamic factors influencing arterial hypoxemia in massive pulmonary embolism with circulatory failure.
Arterial hypoxemia is a common finding in acute pulmonary embolism, and its severity is generally assumed to be proportional to the extent of pulmonary artery obstruction. We studied blood gases (during room air breathing and 100% oxygen breathing) and hemodynamic data is seven patients with massive pulmonary embolism and circulatory failure. All measurements were made before and 30 minutes after medical therapy of shock. We observed that a low cardiac output state can result in a misleading improvement in arterial oxygenation during massive pulmonary embolism, and that an improved circulatory status resulting from medical therapy (including inotropic drug infusion with or without blood volume expansion) can paradoxically increase arterial hypoxemia. We conclude that severity of arterial hypoxemia may not reflect the severity of pulmonary artery obstruction in acute pulmonary embolism if shock is present.
- Copyright © 1979 by American Heart Association