Visualization of cardiac valve motion in man during external chest compression using two-dimensional echocardiography. Implications regarding the mechanism of blood flow.
Five patients who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were studied by two-dimensional echocardiography to assess valve motion. The mitral valve remained open throughout the entire compression-release cycle of CPR. The aortic valve opened during the compression phase of CPR and closed during the release phase. The pulmonic valve moved toward the closed position during the compression phase and the valve leaflets opened during release. Tricuspid valve leaflets never completely apposed, even during maximum chest compression, and they were widely open during release. Left ventricular dimensions did not change appreciably during CPR. These findings support the theory that forward blood flow during CPR depends on a generalized increase in intrathoracic pressure and not on direct compression of the heart itself. The left heart appears to act as a conduit for passage of blood, and mitral valve closure is not necessary for forward blood flow during CPR.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association