Contrasts between intrathoracic pressures during external chest compression and cardiac massage.

N. Chandra, A. Guerci, M. L. Weisfeldt, J. Tsitlik, N. Lepor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pressures were measured in the right atrium, thoracic aorta, and pleural space during conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and simultaneous ventilation compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation (SVC-CPR) in dogs, pigs, and a baboon. During both forms of closed chest resuscitation, the changes in atrial and aortic pressures were virtually identical over a range of 0-90 mm Hg and essentially equaled the change in pleural pressure measured at the most lateral portion of the chest cavity. During internal cardiac massage, there was no consistent relationship between right atrial and aortic pressures. However, even after the chest had been opened, the hemodynamics of external chest compression could be restored by the creation of a closed, air filled cavity surrounding the heart and great vessels. Thus, elevation of intrathoracic pressure, not direct cardiac compression, is essential to and determine circulation of blood during CPR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-792
Number of pages4
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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