Physical and Systemic Signs of Cor Pulmonale

In this article we will discuss the Physical and Systemic Signs of Cor Pulmonale. So, let’s get started.

Physical Signs

  • Patient is orthopnoic, sits with elbows supported on a table and legs dangling by the side of the bed.
  • Purse-lip breathing and cyanosis (lips, tongue, and buccal cavity) will be present in patients with COPD with acute exacerbation.
  • Periorbital edema
  • Neck veins: Distended with raised JVP and ‘VY’ collapse due to tricuspid regurgitation.
  • Peripheral edema

Systemic Signs

  • Respiratory system may show signs of COPD (barrel-shaped chest, restricted chest movements and expansion, hyper-resonant note and vesicular breathing with prolonged expiration, muffled breath sounds).
  • Signs of RV hypertrophy or failure, e.g. parasternal heave, loud P2, midsystolic and early diastolic (Grahm-steel) murmur and pansystolic or holosystolic murmur of tricuspid regurgitation (Carvallo’s sign) may be present.
  • Abdominal examination: Abdomen may be distended with tender hepatomegaly. Hepatojugular reflex may be present. Ascites may also be present.
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