Differences in Cardiac Hypertrophy in Exercise and in Hypoxia
A group of rats, including both sexes, was exercised on an electrically-driven treadmill at the rate of one mile per hour for two hours daily to a total of 60 hours. Another group, also including both sexes, was exposed to intermittent hypoxia for eight hours daily, six days per week, for four weeks at a barometric pressure of 303 mm Hg corresponding to a simulated altitude of approximately 24,000 feet (7,315 m). All these animals showed significant hypertrophy of both ventricles.
Exercise produced about the same percentage of weight increase in the right and also in the left ventricular walls. The per cent increase of the right ventricular wall relative to that of the left ventricular wall was greater after intermittent hypoxia than after exercise. The ratio of left ventricular weight/right ventricular weight was significantly less in the hypoxic group than in the exercised group. This indicates a relative right ventricular hypertrophy produced by the intermittent hypoxia. Reasons are given to indicate that the pulmonary hypertension associated with hypoxia is the cause of this right ventricular predominance.
- Accepted August 31, 1964.
- © 1965 American Heart Association, Inc.