Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) was performed during closed chest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in 18 subjects in cardiac arrest. Compression of all four cardiac chambers resulted in forward flow in the pulmonary and systemic circulations, retrograde pulmonary vein flow and incomplete mitral valve closure. Antegrade pulmonary vein flow and left ventricular filling occurred exclusively during the relaxation phase. These findings support the cardiac pump theory of CPR and are incompatible with the thoracic pump mechanism. TOE merits further investigation as a device to monitor and guide resuscitation efforts during CPR.
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