Parasympathetic Control of Coronary Blood Flow in Dogs
The role of the vagus in the control of coronary blood flow was studied in chloralose-anesthetized dogs with open chests. Propranolol, 1.0 mg/kg iv, was used for beta-receptor blockade. Heart rate was maintained at a constant level with atrial and ventricular pacing. Left circumflex coronary artery blood flow was measured with an electromagnetic flowmeter. The experimental design accounted for the four major determinants of coronary blood flow: (1) aortic pressure, (2) myocardial systolic compression, (3) alterations in myocardial oxygen tension and metabolism secondary to changes in contractile force, (4) neural control. Efferent stimulation of the cut cervical vagi (30 Hz, 2 msec, 8-10 v) resulted in decreased aortic blood pressure and increased coronary blood flow. Late diastolic coronary artery resistance fell to 58% of the control value after 5 seconds of vagal stimulation. Atropine, 0.5 mg/kg iv, blocked these effects. It is concluded that direct parasympathetic coronary vasodilation results from vagal stimulation, which is independent of vagal chronotropic and inotropic effects.
- Received September 4, 1969.
- Accepted September 25, 1969.
- © 1969 American Heart Association, Inc.