What are the cardiovascular findings indicative of heat stroke?

Updated: Aug 02, 2019
  • Author: Robert S Helman, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Heat stress places a tremendous burden on the heart. Patients with preexisting myocardial dysfunction do not tolerate heat stress for prolonged periods.

Patients commonly exhibit a hyperdynamic state, with tachycardia, low systemic vascular resistance, and a high cardiac index. However, a hypodynamic state, with a high systemic vascular resistance and a low cardiac index, may occur in patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease and low intravascular volume. A hypodynamic state also may signal cardiovascular collapse.

The central venous pressure generally is within the reference range or elevated unless the patient is severely volume depleted.

High-output cardiac failure and low-output cardiac failure may occur.

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