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Critical Care Reviews |

Right Atrial Pressure*: Determinant or Result of Change in Venous Return?

Karim Bendjelid, MD, MS
Author and Funding Information

*From the Surgical Intensive Care Division, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.

Correspondence to: Karim Bendjelid, MD, MS, Chef de Clinique Scientifique, Surgical Intensive Care Division, Geneva University Hospitals, CH-1211 Genève 14, Switzerland; e-mail: Karim.Bendjelid@hcuge.ch



Chest. 2005;128(5):3639-3640. doi:10.1378/chest.128.5.3639
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According to the concept of Guyton, cardiac output is largely controlled by venous return, which is determined by the difference between mean systemic venous pressure and right atrial pressure. In the analysis of the venous return curve, other authors have suggested that right atrial pressure is the dependent variable and venous return is the independent variable (right atrial pressure decreased because cardiac output increased). The present report analyzes this historical debate, which has already lasted > 50 years.


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