UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Vascular

Title: Pulmonary Embolism and Blood Pressure

Keywords: Pulmonary Embolism (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/2/2010 by Rob Rogers, MD (Updated: 7/20/2019)
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Pulmonary Embolism and Blood Pressure

Patients with massive PE will often develop worsening hypotension after a fluid bolus due to increased right ventricular distension and deviation of the interventricular septum towards the left side of the heart. This septal deviation decreases left heart cardiac output.

In addition, patients with massive PE will sometimes develop higher blood pressures after intubation as positive pressure ventilation reduces preload, decreases deviation of the septum, and increases left sided cardiac output.