What is Pulsus Paradoxus?

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Definition:
Decreased Blood Pressure upon inspiration.

Mechanism:
Upon inspiration, venous return normally increases, which is expelled into the right atrium, right ventricle and into the left atrium. However, in pulsus paradoxus, right atrium and ventricle cannot accommodate additional blood flow on inspiration, due to pressure from the surrounding pericardial blood/fluid. Septum bulges to the left and causes less cardiac output, which temporarily decreases blood pressure, during inspiration.

Common in:
Pericardial Tamponade