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I am damn sure this MCQ will trouble you !

Posted Mar 31 2013 12:00am
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Answer

The tie is between “B” and “D “

We know in hypertensive hearts LV primarily fails in diastole . Lungs get congested due to raised LVEDP .Here is a catch . . .  if diastole is  terribly dysfunctional  how can be systole be near  normal  ? (After all  . . . systole is not a  distant cousin of diastole !)

How is  that  high blood pressure maintained in spite of LV failure* ?

Is it due to  well-preserved  EF and cardiac Index ?  or Is it due to extreme levels of peripheral sympathetic activity mediated by catecholamine surge triggered by LVF.

We have attempted to measure  LVEF in patients with flash pulmonary edema and acute severe hypertension .It was a real messy echocardiography . We could not conclude much but one thing is  clear in acute hypertensive  LVF   the LV was vigorously contracting in , probably making the option D  more correct .

* The other way of  reasoning is    . . .  it is because  of high blood pressure the LVF  has occurred . LV contractility has no contribution in maintaining the high BP ( Not in line with  the age  old concept of LV contractility  a major determinant of systolic blood pressure !)

(Having said that  . . . we also see patients with severe LV dysfunction with  severely  stunned , ventricles in association with hypertension and LVF . In fact many of the reversible DCMs are due to sudden surge in blood pressure )

Other mechansims of LVF and lung congestion is

  • Extreme tachycardia and shortening of diastole
  • Mitral regurgitation
  • Assocaited  CAD unmasked by sudden raaise  in heart rate .

Postamble

If  this article has confused  you a little  , It has achieved  one of it’s  objective .  !  I expect more  from   young cardiology fellows to address the issue !

Reference

This NEJM article   authored by Sanjay  Gandhi  has almost answered the hemodynamics of acute LVF and HT .

mechanism of acute lvf in hypertension flash pulmonary edema lvedp in ht nejm 2005 sanjay gandhi

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