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Abdominal dyspnea : When the stomach encroaches the left ventricle’s living room !

Posted Dec 15 2011 11:43pm

A middle aged obese man was referred  to me  for  an emergency  echocardiography

The patient was unable to lie  either supine or left lateral  . He could lie down only  right lateral posture  that too for a minute .An ultra fast echo gram was completed . It  was  entirely  normal . His ECG was also normal.

When I  asked for x ray there was a surprise

Note the shrunken thoracic space  on both sides .The  fundus of stomach is  almost fighting for place with left ventricle in the thoracic cavity .

No wonder he is severely orthopnic  (But fairly comfortable on erect posture )

He has a distended abdomen .He is  now waiting for a GE consult. His other complaint is belching   . Is that some form of gastric obstruction ?

Iam posting this image to re-emphasise the  classical  teachings in medicine .

Human body is  a highly integrated  biological  system .We in the name of modern science  has  disintegrated in to  multi organ entity.

This patient was labeled as acute pulmonary edema and the treatment was about to be started.

Here is a patient  with dyspnea and orthopnea  entirely  due to a non-pulmonary and non- cardiac cause !

 All youngsters  . . .  always be alert  clinical medicine will  notorious to  throw   surprises  especially when you least expect it !


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