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Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2013 Oct;26(4):401-4.

The myth of the Bernheim syndrome.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine (Chung, Ko, Hall, Roberts), the Department of Pathology (Roberts), the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Chamogeorgakis), and the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute (Ko, Roberts), Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Ms. Chung is currently a medical student at Texas Tech University Health Science Center and Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, El Paso, Texas.


The Bernheim syndrome has been a topic of discussion for over a century. It has been reported to be caused by severe rightward movement of the ventricular septum resulting in compression of the right ventricular cavity leading to right-sided heart failure without pulmonary congestion. Hemodynamic findings have been described in a few patients with the so-called Bernheim syndrome. We describe a patient in whom the ventricular septum dramatically decreased the size of the right ventricular cavity and yet peak systolic pressures in both the right ventricle and pulmonary trunk were identical. Thus, it is difficult to view the Bernheim syndrome as a real entity.

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