Balancing the heart and the lungs in children with large cardiac shunts
AbstractThis article reviews the pathophysiology of cardiorespiratory problems in children with cardiac shunt lesions. The close anatomical and physiological relationship of the heart and the lungs explains why disease in one system will affect the other. The pulmonary and cardiac circulations are inseparable. The cardiac system is a dual pump system (right and left ventricle) with the lungs in between (Fig. 1). The first pump circulates the venous blood to the lungs and the second pump circulates the arterial blood to the body.
CME January 2013 Vol. 31 No. 1