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Effect of Pericardial Pressure on Human Coronary Circulation*

Emmanuel I. Skalidis, MD; George E. Kochiadakis, MD; Stavros I. Chrysostomakis, MD; Nikos E. Igoumenidis, MD; Emmanuel G. Manios, MD; Panos E. Vardas, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Cardiology Department, Heraklion University Hospital, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Correspondence to: Panos E. Vardas, MD, PhD, Cardiology Department, Heraklion University Hospital, P.O. Box 1352 Stavrakia, 71110 Heraklion, Crete, Greece



Chest. 2000;117(3):910-912. doi:10.1378/chest.117.3.910
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A 52-year-old patient underwent percutaneous balloon pericardiotomy because of rapid fluid accumulation. During the procedure, we calculated the amount of blood flow to the nondiseased left anterior descending coronary artery while pericardial pressure was gradually increased by the infusion of warmed normal saline solution. Coronary vasodilator reserve was assessed by intracoronary adenosine. With increasing pericardial pressure, there was a continuous decline in coronary blood flow, due to an increase in coronary vascular resistance, and an unaffected hyperemic response throughout. The maximal hyperemic flow was far less under increased pericardial pressure than at normal pressure, which implies an augmented susceptibility to myocardial ischemia.

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