Pulsus alternans determined by biventricular simultaneous systolic time intervals.
This investigation was performed to determine the presence of unilateral or bilateral pulsus alternans in the systemic and pulmonary circulations in heart failure and to estimate the prevalence of pulsus alternans in congestive cardiomyopathy. The subjects were 36 adult patients in heart failure due to a variety of cardiopulmonary diseases. We measured left- and right-sided systolic time intervals from simultaneous dual echocardiograms of both semilunar valves. The alternans was left-sided in seven patients, right-sided in one patient and bilateral in six patients. Pulsus alternans was induced by ventricular premature complexes (VPCs), except in one patient with bilateral and persistent alternans. For a VPC to precipitate alternans, the early beat itself must be associated with an abbreviated ejection time. Echophonocardiographic records of 100 patients with congestive cardiomyopathy were reviewed for evidence of pulsus alternans. We found persistent alternans in 10 patients and VPC-induced alternans in seven patients. We could not measure any difference in severity of disease in patients with pulsus alternans compared with those without.
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association