Right ventricular performance in patients with acute respiratory failure
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To examine the right ventricular response to acute respiratory failure, serial studies of biventricular performance were analysed in 34 such patients, specifically detailing the role of associated underlying disease. During the initial study, the 34 patients with acute respiratory failure had a higher right ventricular end-diastolic volume than the control group (+21%), associated with a decrease in right ventricular ejection fraction, abnormalities which tended to return to normal values in the 15 survivors. In the 9 patients who died of refractory hypoxemia with severe pulmonary hypertension, the right ventricular dilation allowed to maintain stroke volume. In contrast, in 8 patients who died of septic shock, biventricular function was progressively altered (right and left ventricular ejection fraction= -37% and -35%). In 4 patients who died of cardiogenic shock (viral myocarditis), the cardiac function was the lowest (right and left ventricular ejection fraction= -59% and -60%). Only patients with acute respiratory failure associated with septic shock or viral myocarditis are unable to maintain their stroke volume.
Key wordsRV performance Acute respiratory failure
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