In acute pulmonary embolism, a well-recognised pattern of right ventricular wall motion reported by McConnell is characterised by normal RV apex (RVa) contractility with akinesia of the RV free wall. A study using an echo techique called longitudinal velocity vector imaging (VVI) was conducted to describe RVa mechanics in relation to the rest of the RV in patients with a proven acute PE (aPE) and to compare these results to healthy volunteers and to patients with known chronic pulmonary hypertension (cPH). There were no significant differences in segmental strain patterns between the aPE and cPH groups. The authors suggest that McConnell’s sign is probably a visual illusion; preserved RVa contractility might be due to tethering of the RVa to a hyperdynamic left ventricle in the presence of an acutely dilated RV and this is the most likely explanation of the regional pattern of RV dysfunction seen in aPE patients.
Video describing McConnell’s sign from YouTube:
Right Ventricular Apical Contractility in Acute Pulmonary Embolism: The McConnell Sign Revisited
Echocardiography. 2010 Jul;27(6):614-20