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Squat Echo : Poor man’s stress echocardiography !

Posted Aug 04 2011 1:31pm

There are innumerable  stresses  to human beings in daily life .

Heart  experiences a few  either directly or indirectly.

  1. Physical stress
  2. Pharmacological  stress
  3. Mechanical stress
  4. Hemodynamic stress
  5. Mental stress

Squatting is rarely realised as a form of physical   stress to heart .  Rather , squatting can also  be termed as a  good exercise  ( Western toilets sans it !)

Squatting  raises the afterload at the level of aorta due to  increments  in SVR (exact mechanism not clear ,neural reflex ?)  and temporary reduction in venous return.

After load raise is synonymous with increased  ventricular wall stress  . So,  it is logical to expect wall motion defect in  vulnerable hearts* when confronted with sudden increase in afterload .(*Ischemic hearts with delicate coronary blood flow ) .Hence ,  sudden squatting , a seemingly simple  maneuver   ,  can  unmask  silent CAD .It can be aptly be named as poor man’s stress echo.

Of course , it  doesn’t   mean in any way ,  it should not be used in rich ! The  purpose of science  is  to make things simpler and cheaper . If squatting can replace  dobutamine with fair degree of accuracy  atleast in a few ,  it can help  control the escalating  costs of  cardiology triaging   due to   many futile diagnostics !

When squatting  is a stress in normal persons , paradoxically it gives relief to patients with cyanotic heart disease

Read the related articles in this  site .


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