Appreciating the Strengths and Weaknesses of Transthoracic Echocardiography in Hemodynamic Assessments
The effect of fluid administration on cardiac output. Fluid administration results in an upward shift in venous return curve. As a result, there is an increase in preload hence cardiac output (ΔCO) (a). Note that the crossing points between the two curves are on the steep part of the cardiac function (Frank-Starling) curve. In heart failure, the Frank-Starling curve is lowered, and the crossing point is at the flat portion of the curve (b). Fluid administration, although it increases the preload, does not result in an increase in CO in the latter case.
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