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Rapid change in pulmonary vascular hemodynamics with pulmonary edema during cardiopulmonary resuscitation

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      Abstract

      Previous studies have shown that pulmonary edema occurs in half of all pre-hospital cardiac arrest victims who cannot be successfully resuscitated and is a major cause of hypoxemia and poor lung compliance during resuscitation. Pulmonary vascular hypertension and elevation of pulmonary capillary wedge pressure have been observed during cardiac resuscitation in humans. To further define the time course of the pulmonary hemodynamic changes, pulmonary artery diastolic pressure (PAd) was measured on a computerized trend recorder prior to, during, and immediately after arrest in three adult patients. Prior to arrest, PADP was 20.9 ± 3.1 mm Hg. The PADP rose in all three patients by an average of 30.6% after 5–10 minutes and 71.3% after 10–15 minutes of CPR. Peak PADP reached 35.8 ± 5.1 mm Hg (difference from pre-arrest level significant, P < 0.001). In both patients who were resuscitated successfully, the PADP returned to baseline within 5 minutes of effective spontaneous circulation. The finding that such hemodynamic changes occur rapidly during resuscitation and can reverse quickly with resumption of effective spontaneous circulation is consistent with the time course for the early development of pulmonary edema. Development of pulmonary edema many hours following successful resuscitation likely involves other mechanisms.

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