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Effect of markedly elevated hematocrit level on blood viscosity and assessment of pulmonary vascular resistance



Effect of markedly elevated hematocrit level on blood viscosity and assessment of pulmonary vascular resistance



Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 77(5): 682-684



Elevated pulmonary resistance results in a high surgical mortality rate in congenital heart disease patients. In evaluating pulmonary resistance, blood viscosity is usually considered constant and changes in resistance are attributed to changes in the radius of the resistance vessel, i.e., thromboembolism and/or intimal proliferation and fibrosis. In patients with polycythemia secondary to congenital heart disease the hematocrit and blood viscosity are elevated and the pressure drop across the pulmonary vascular bed may be due to inertial losses. The polycythemia patient may not have pulmonary vascular obstruction and may be a candidate for surgical correction of congenital heart disease. Hematocrit should not be ignored in assessing pulmonary vascular resistance.

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Accession: 005252756

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PMID: 431102


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