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Primary pulmonary hypertension with death during right heart catheterization

A case report and a survey of reported fatalities
  • Paolo Caldint
    Affiliations
    From the Departments of Research and Laboratories and of Cardiology, National Jewish Hospital at Denver, Denver, Colorado USA

    The Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado USA
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  • Goffredo G. Gensini
    Affiliations
    From the Departments of Research and Laboratories and of Cardiology, National Jewish Hospital at Denver, Denver, Colorado USA

    The Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado USA
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  • Murray S. Hoffman
    Affiliations
    From the Departments of Research and Laboratories and of Cardiology, National Jewish Hospital at Denver, Denver, Colorado USA

    The Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado USA
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      Abstract

      Observations regarding the death of a patient with primary pulmonary hypertension during right heart catheterization are reported. After the succession of events in this case is considered, and the literature concerning fatal outcomes during cardiac catheterization reviewed, it is concluded that cardiac catheterization could well have been unrelated to the death of the patient. It is possible, however, that the psychologic distress and the minimal hemodynamic derangement inherent in catheterization can increase pulmonary vascular resistance and lower cardiac output to an extent that would cause a syncopal attack and sudden death in a patient with this disorder.
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