What is a paradoxical pulse? List 4 causes.
exaggerated decreased amplitude on inspiration
- severe asthma
- pericardial tamponade
- constrictive pericarditis
*This is because the intrathoracic pressure becomes more negative relative to atmospheric pressure. This increases systemic venous return, so more blood flows into the right side of the heart. However, the decrease in intrathoracic pressure also expands the compliant pulmonary vasculature. This increase in pulmonary blood capacity pools the blood in the lungs, and decreases pulmonary venous return, so flow is reduced to the left side of the heart. Also the increased systemic venous return to the right side of the heart expands the right heart and directly compromises filling of the left side of the heart. Reduced left-heart filling leads to a reduced stroke volume which manifests as a decrease in systolic blood pressure. The decrease in systolic blood pressure leads to a faster heart rate due to the baroreceptor reflex, which stimulates sympathetic outflow to the heart.