Effects of Alterations in Aortic Impedance on the Performance of the Ventricles
We have investigated the effects of sudden changes in the load against which the left ventricle contracts in healthy conscious dogs. During a steady state, initial responses were assessed by comparing the beat before with the beat after such a change. Flow was measured by electromagnetic flowmeters and pressure usually by a catheter-tip transducer.
Results show that under the conditions of these experiments the curves relating external work and power to load are consistent with the parabolic relationship shown for isolated hearts and muscle strips and that in each case the left ventricle normally functions near the peak of the curve.
When an increased load was maintained until a new steady state was reached the left ventricle still functioned on the descending limbs of what presumably were different work-load and power-load curves. It was concluded from this that either the increase in load was too great or the time too short for reflex humoral and intrinsic mechanisms to readjust and permit the ventricle to function again at the peak of each curve, or that the circulatory system does not make relatively rapid adaptations in this way to an increase in systemic load.
The immediate effects of changes in load on left ventricular stroke volume were similar to those seen in isolated preparations. Stroke volume varied inversely with the load. Stroke volume changes were accompanied by changes in the duration, rate, and velocity of ejection. The duration of the isovolumetric phase was affected little but the period from valve closure to the end of ventricular relaxation varied with the load so that the total duration of contraction and relaxation of the ventricle was relatively unchanged, though an increase in load did tend to prolong it.
Before the onset of the baroreceptor response the right ventricle was not affected, the two ventricles acting independently in relation to all these changes.
- Received September 3, 1963.
- © 1964 American Heart Association, Inc.