Pathophysiology

Independent of the mechanism(s) involved, pulmonary microvascular occlusion adversely affects both cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Cardiovascular effects

The increase in pulmonary outflow resistance is detrimental for two reasons.

1. Elevation of right ventricular afterload: if the mean pulmonary artery pressure in the non-adapted right ventricle exceeds 40 mmHg, this may lead to right ventricular failure and cardiogenic shock.

2. (Micro)vascular occlusion increases hydrostatic pressure in the lungs, thereby promoting pulmonary edema. This, in turn, compromises gas exchange and may further increase pulmonary artery pressure.

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