Eisenmenger (I-sun-meng-uhr) syndrome is a complication of a heart defect that you're born with (congenital). A heart defect that causes a hole (shunt) to develop between two chambers of your heart is the most common cause of Eisenmenger syndrome. This hole causes blood to circulate abnormally in your heart and lungs. Increased blood flow returns to your lungs instead of going to the rest of your body. The blood vessels in your lung arteries become stiff and narrow, increasing the pressure in your lung's arteries. This permanently damages the blood vessels in your lungs.
Eisenmenger syndrome occurs when the increased pressure of the blood flow in the lung becomes so great that the direction of blood flow through the shunt reverses. Oxygen-poor (blue) blood from the right side of the heart flows into the left ventricle and is pumped to your body, making it so that you don't receive enough oxygen to all your organs and tissues. Eisenmenger syndrome is a life-threatening condition requiring careful medical monitoring. Medications can improve symptoms and prognosis.
Jul. 25, 2012
- Connolly HM. Evaluation and prognosis of Eisenmenger syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed April 19, 2012.
- Connolly HM. Medical management of Eisenmenger syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed April 19, 2012.
- Warnes CA, et al. ACC/AHA 2008 guidelines for the management of adults with congenital heart disease. Circulation. 2008;118:e714.
- Beghetti M, et al. Eisenmenger syndrome: A clinical perspective in a new therapeutic era of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2009;53:733.
- Moons P, et al. Eisenmenger syndrome: A clinical review. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 2009;8:237.
- Trojnarska O, et al. Therapeutic methods used in patients with Eisenmenger syndrome. Cardiology Journal. 2009;16:500.
- Zhang ZN, et al. Oral sildenafil treatment for Eisenmenger syndrome: A prospective, open-label, multicentre study. Heart. 2011;97:1876.
- Birth control methods. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm.%20Accessed%20May%209, 2012.
- Bonow RO, et al. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0398-6..C2009-0-59734-6--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0398-6&about=true&uniqId=236798031-10. Accessed May 31, 2012.
- Burton MJ, et al. Infective endocarditis prevention: Update on 2007 guidelines. The American Journal of Medicine. 2007;11:484.