Pulsus Paradoxus

Respiratory effects on hemodynamics
  • Ralph Shabetai
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 249)


Knowledge of respiratory variation of the amplitude of the pulse in pericardial disease dates back a long way. Some early observers of this phenomenon had remarkably “modern” ideas concerning the underlying mechanisms. In 1619, when describing the case of a young woman with constrictive pericarditis, Lower (See Chapter 6) stated, “. . .the pulse was weak and intermittent and that “. . .the pericardium had become thick, opaque and almost callous.” He concluded that the movement of the diaphragm during breathing was the reason why the pulse disappeared during inspiration. This conclusion brought him close to the mechanism of pulsus paradoxus proposed by Auenbrugger (1958) Dock (1961) andWood 1961) but subsequently disproved (Shabetai Fowler Fenton 1965).


Pulmonary Vein Pulmonary Arterial Pressure Cardiac Tamponade Aortic Pressure Constrictive Pericarditis 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph Shabetai
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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