Health & Medical intensive care

Ask the Experts - Circulatory Disturbances in Asthma

´╗┐Ask the Experts - Circulatory Disturbances in Asthma
What are the circulatory disturbances associated with acute severe asthma?

Saleem Manteen, MBBS

Hypotension, pulsus paradoxus, acute cor pulmonale, and cardiac arrhythmias all can occur with severe attacks of bronchial asthma. The severe hypoxemia caused by an asthmatic attack is at least partially responsible for these effects, and, of course, the use of sympathomimetic bronchodilator aerosolized medications and theophylline-containing agents may also be responsible. Anxiety is yet another causative factor. Sinus tachycardia, atrial fibrillation with a rapid ventricular response, multifocal atrial tachycardia (MAT), and ventricular ectopy are the most common arrhythmias reported. In patients with hypotension, hypovolemia must be ruled out and, if present, aggressively treated.

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