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Can J Surg. 1991 Oct;34(5):431-4.

Cardiac function in massively obese patients and the effect of weight loss.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Ont.


Massively obese patients are at increased risk for heart disease. Blood volume and capillary flow are increased to supply the excess body mass, and there is a concomitant increase in preload and, often, afterload. The heart compensates for the expanded blood volume by increasing stroke volume and cardiac work to provide increased cardiac output. The result is left ventricular dilatation followed by eccentric left ventricular hypertrophy. Cardiac compensatory reserve is limited, leading, at times, to overt congestive failure. After reduction of the excess body fat, most of the cardiovascular derangements appear to reverse. The authors review the effect of massive obesity on the heart and the cardiovascular consequences of weight reduction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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