Cardiac tamponade: current pathophysiological and diagnostic views

  • H. Sidney Klopfenstein
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 108)


This chapter will be devoted primarily to a discussion of the hemodynamic changes that occur in acute cardiac tamponade in conscious individuals and to an evaluation of newer noninvasive diagnostic methods and their limitations. Our understanding of newer noninvasive diagnostic methods and their limitations. Our understanind of the fundamental hemodynamic changes which occur during cardiac tamponade was obtained in large part from acute studies in anesthetized preparations and from clinical observations (1–3). Carefully controlled clinical studies are extremely valuable but are extraordinary difficult to perform and, of course, the measurements that can be made are limited. Relatively little information is available during acute cardiac tamponade from conscious animals who have recovered from surgery and almost no information exists concerning chronic tamponade in such preparations. There are some differences in the hemodynamic response to acute cardiac tamponade in conscious preparations from those seen in anesthetized or convalescent models. In conscious animals, for example, mean arterial blood pressure does not change significantly until late in tamponade when it abruptly decreases (4). A continuous decline in arterial blod pressure as intrapericardial pressure rises is characteristic of acute progressive tamponade in the presence of anesthesia or during convalescence from surgery.


Cardiac Tamponade Conscious Animal Total Peripheral Vascular Resistance Pulsus Paradoxus Coronary Artery Blood Flow 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

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  • H. Sidney Klopfenstein

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