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Respiratory maneuvers in echocardiography: a review of clinical applications

Carmen Ginghina12, Carmen C Beladan12, Madalina Iancu2, Andreea Calin12 and Bogdan A Popescu12*

Author Affiliations

1 "Carol Davila" University of Medicine, Bucharest, Romania

2 "Prof. Dr. C. C. Iliescu" Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Bucharest, Romania

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Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2009, 7:42  doi:10.1186/1476-7120-7-42

Published: 26 August 2009


During echocardiographic examination, respiration induces cyclic physiological changes of intracardiac haemodynamics, causing normal variations of the right and left ventricle Doppler inflows and outflows and physiological variation of extracardiac flows. The respiration related hemodynamic variation in intra and extracardiac flows may be utilized in the echocardiography laboratory to aid diagnosis in different pathological states. Nevertheless, physiologic respiratory phases can cause excessive translational motion of cardiac structures, lowering 2D image quality and interfering with optimal Doppler interrogation of flows or tissue motion.

This review focuses on the impact of normal respiratory cycle and provocative respiratory maneuvers in echocardiographic examination, both in physiological and pathological states, emphasizing their applications in specific clinical situations.