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Cardiovascular interactions in respiratory failure 

Cardiovascular interactions in respiratory failure
Cardiovascular interactions in respiratory failure

Jae Myeong Lee

and Michael R. Pinsky

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date: 23 February 2020

Acute respiratory failure not only impairs gas exchange, but also stresses cardiovascular reserve by increasing the need for increased cardiac output (CO) to sustain O2 delivery in the face of hypoxaemia, increased O2 demand by the increased work of breathing and inefficient gas exchange, and increased right ventricular afterload due to lung collapse via hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. Mechanical ventilation, though often reversing these processes by lung recruitment and improved arterial oxygenation, may also decrease CO by increasing right atrial pressure by either increasing intrathoracic pressure or lung over-distention by excess positive end-expiratory pressure or inadequate expiratory time causing acute cor pulmonale. Finally, spontaneous negative swings in intrathoracic pressure also increase venous return and impede left ventricular ejection thus increasing intrathoracic blood volume and often precipitating or worsening hydrostatic pulmonary oedema. Positive-pressure breathing has the opposite effects.

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