Echocardiographic study of the paradoxical arterial pulse in chronic obstructive lung disease.
In nine subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulsus paradoxus, M-mode echocardiograms showed inspiratory augmentation of right ventricular dimensions and inspiratory decrease of left ventricular diastolic dimensions. In five subjects in whom the echocardiographic transistor was in the subxiphoid position, mean right ventricular dimensions increased during inspiration from 1.4 +/- 0.20 to 2.96 +/- 0.38 cm (p < 0.01). With inspiration, mean left ventricular diastolic dimensions decreased from 4.8 +/- 0.61 to 3.7 +/- 0.63 cm (p < 0.01) in these five subjects. Two-dimensional echocardiograms, performed in three subjects, confirmed inspiratory augmentation of right ventricular cross-sectional area. Similar changes were produced in two normal volunteers by artificial obstruction to breathing. Left ventricular ejection time measurements demonstrated an inspiratory decline in left ventricular stroke volume. Inspiratory filling of the right ventricle is not hampered, but rather is exaggerated in patients with COPD and pulsus paradoxus, and left ventricular stroke volume is reduced during inspiration. Exaggerated variations in intrathoracic pressure alone did not explain pulsus paradoxus. Increased right ventricular filling and stroke volume during inspiration probably play a part.
- Copyright © 1980 by American Heart Association