We studied the hemodynamics in 5 patients before and after aspiration of pericardial effusion, (three cases with chronic effusive pericarditis, one case with acute pericardits and cardiac tamponade, one case with myxoedema) Pulsus paradoxus (Δsyst; 2∼18 mmHg) and %Δsyst (Δsyst/expiratory systolic pressure) correlated well with the clinical severity. Percentage change in cardiac index (ΔCI) was also correlated to Δsyst and Δsyst. Intrapericardial pressure in moderate to severe cases was higher than that of the mild cases. We conclude that pulsus paradoxus can be used to estimate the level of hemodynamic embarrassment resulting from pericardial effusion.
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