What is the pulsus paradoxus?

What is the pulsus paradoxus?

Systolic blood pressure normally falls during quiet inspiration in normal individuals. Pulsus paradoxus is defined as a fall of systolic blood pressure of >10 mmHg during the inspiratory phase.

What happens in pulsus paradoxus?

When you take a breath in, you may experience a mild, brief drop in blood pressure that’s unnoticeable. Pulsus paradoxus, sometimes called paradoxic pulse, refers to a blood pressure drop of at least 10 mm Hg with each breath in. This is enough of a difference to cause a noticeable change in the strength of your pulse.

What causes pulsus paradoxus in cardiac tamponade?

(See “Cardiac tamponade” and “Constrictive pericarditis”.) Pulsus paradoxus can be thought of as a direct result of competition (ie, enhanced chamber interaction) between the right and left sides of the heart for limited space; for the right heart to fill more, the left heart must fill less.

Why is it called pulsus paradoxus?

Why the paradox? In fact, to be true to Kussmaul’s original description in 1873, he recognized that “pulsus paradoxus” was not a “paradox” but an exaggeration of normal physiology. The “paradox” that he refers to was that the peripheral pulse went away when the central heartbeat continued.

How do you find the pulsus paradoxus?

Pulsus paradoxus is traditionally measured using a sphygmomanometer. The brachial cuff must be inflated above the presumed value of systolic arterial pressure and then deflated slowly to find the highest pressure at which the first Korotkoff sound is heard, normally during expiration.

Why does BP drop during inspiration?

During inspiration, systolic blood pressure decreases, and pulse rate goes up. 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.

How can you see if a patient is experiencing pulsus paradoxus?

To measure the pulsus paradoxus, patients are often placed in a semirecumbent position; respirations should be normal. The blood pressure cuff is inflated to at least 20 mm Hg above the systolic pressure and slowly deflated until the first Korotkoff sounds are heard only during expiration.

What is the cause of pulsus paradoxus?

Pulsus paradoxus results from alterations in the mechanical forces imposed on the chambers of the heart and pulmonary vasculature and is often due to pericardial disease, particularly cardiac tamponade and to a lesser degree constrictive pericarditis.

What is pulsus paradoxus in cardiac tamponade?

Pulsus paradoxus is the term used to describe an exaggerated blood pressure variation with the respiratory cycle. This can be found in cardiac tamponade or during chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma exacerbations.

Why does BP fall during inspiration?

How do you remember Pulsus Paradoxus?

Continue to lower the cuff pressure to the highest value at which you hear Korotkoff sounds with each beat; this means that you are hearing sounds with inspiration and expiration. Find the difference between the two numbers and this is the pulsus. Remember, a pulsus greater than 10 mm Hg is abnormal.

When is pulsus paradoxus not a medical condition?

It’s a very specific sign that can only be adequately recognized when monitoring pressure with an arterial catheter. Pulsus paradoxus is a sign of some other condition and by itself is not a medical condition. When you breathe in (called inspiration or inhalation), your blood pressure drops a little.

Can a cardiac tamponade cause pulsus paradoxus?

This can be observed on the blood pressure waveform (defined by a drop in systolic blood pressure exceeding 10 mm Hg during inspiration), and on echocardiography. Cardiac tamponade is the classic cause of pulsus paradoxus, but it can also be seen from a PE or hypovolemic shock.

How big is a pulsus paradoxus pressure drop?

Pulsus paradoxus is defined as a systolic pressure drop greater than 10 with inspiration.

How is pulsus paradoxus detected in blood pressure cuff?

Pulsus paradoxus is detected by palpating the pulse or using the blood pressure cuff, although only paradoxical pulses exceeding 15 to 20 mm Hg are palpable.45,46 For this reason, most clinicians use the blood pressure cuff, which has the added advantage of quantifying the finding ( Fig. 15.2 ). FIG. 15.2. Technique for measuring pulsus paradoxus.