Posts Tagged ‘cardiac output’

                    circulatory                                                                            A normally  functioning  circulatory system is vital for our survival . We have about 6000 ml of  blood, circulating  all over the  body in an  approximate time of 15-20 seconds.The pressure at which this blood moves across the body is called the blood pressure . Hypertension  or simply , high blood pressure is an undesirable  hemodynamic disturbance  in human circulatory system.Systemic hypertension is the most common type of hypertension. The blood pressure is primarily  dependent  on the status of the blood vessel(vascular resistance)  and cardiac contractility. This regulation is under  many neural and hormonal factors.Further  the blood pressure varies depending  upon the blood vessel calibre, and the local milieu.There is a progressive drop in blood pressure from major arteries to the small arteries .The pressure drop is maximum  across the arterioles to reach the venules .The venous circulation has the lowest pressure, it ends up at right atrium with a mean pressure of 0- 5mmhg.

Importance of regional variation of blood pressure.

It should be realised  ,  each organ has it’s own regulated blood pressure.The brain  perfuses by the  intracerebral pressure .The lungs decide how much should be the pulmonary arterial pressure.The kidney not only controls it’s own pressure but also  has a major regulatory role in  systemic pressure by rennin angiotensin system.The examples are numerous, portal system has it’s unique pressure controlling hepatic hemodynamics. The  retinal blood vessels regulate  intra ocular pressure. While the human  circulatory system has a wide variation of blood pressure  across the breadth and length of vascular system,  it is ironical a single snap shot BP with a brachial cuff is used  to define the normality and if it is normal every thing is thought to be  hunky dory !



It is widely acknowledged now , aging of humanity  is nothing but aging of our vascular system

                                    So we should have new parameters to assess individual organ’s vascular health as well as the currently popular systemic vascular health.The single important factor that determine coronary endothelial damage is the intra coronary pressure.It is never taken into account in any of the cardivascular mortality studies. This is the prime reason for  the widely prevalent conflict in the cardiology literature , namely : Controlling systemic  blood pressure has poor correlation with  cardiovascular outcome. Many of the so called normotensive individuals  have serious hemodynamic injury in their  coronary arteries.This was made apparent in the  ASCOT LLA  study , in which patients with  near normal blood pressure also benefited from statin therapy , implying  endothelial damage could occur at any level of systemic blood pressure.

What is the normal intracoronary pressure  ? When do you diagnose intracoonary hypertension?

The normal intracoronary pressure is around 40mmhg . Intra coronary hypertension as a clinical entity  is yet to be  recognised . There is no defintion available for intracoronary HT  , intracerebral hypertension as well. 

It’s still a  long way to  go , for the cardiology and neurology  community to assess non invasively  intracoronary pressures and  intra cerebral arterial pressure to prevent  coronary events ant strokes.

Final message

Simple risk prediction using brachial cuff blood pressure is a grossly unscientific method (Sorry, i really mean it ) to assess one’s vascular health.There has been  few attempts like vascular endothelial health assessment by fore arm blood  flow , central aortic pressure (Instead of brachial cuff pressure) as an  index for risk predictment and  assessment for hypertension is suggested.

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Humans have roughly 5 to 6 liters of blood at any given time in their  body  . Out of  this*

50% (2500ml)  is located in the systemic venous compartment.
18% is within the pulmonary circulation participating in the vital oxygenation
12% (500-600ml) is within the cardiac chambers.
8%  is in the arterial tree of  the body.
5%  is  within the  capillaries.
2%  is in the aorta.
* Source : Best & Taylor Physiological basis of  medical practice 1966, 8th edition

What is the implication of this predominantly venous distribution of blood  at rest ?

  • A competent venous tone is essential  for the human beings to maintain the erect posture.
  • Bulk of the cause of syncope in humans is due to peripheral  mechanism like loss of vascular tone and resultant venous pooling.
  • The  concept of venous reservoir is so important in emergency situations like  hypotension  as  simple elevation of legs  is equivalent to  infusing 500 -800 ml of intravenous saline .
  • Similarly during acute left ventricular failure trunk elevation and legs dangling down can reduce the pulmonary congestion very significantly and reduce pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (LVEDP)

 Autonomic dysfunction and venous insufficiency

 Autonomic dysfunction and resultant  orthostatic hypotension is directly related  to venous reservoir dysfunction.Increasing effective circulatory volume by elastic stockings or administration of mineralocorticosteroids like fludrocortisone (.5mg/day ) can be useful in this condition

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