Pressure-flow characteristics of coronary stenoses in unsedated dogs at rest and during coronary vasodilation.
The pressure-flow characteristics of 100 left circumflex stenoses in 10 chronically instrumented unsedated dogs were studied under resting conditions and during pharmacological coronary vasodilation. At rest, the pressure loss (deltaP) due to a stenosis and arterial flow velocity (V) were related by the equation, deltaP = FV + SV2, where F is the coefficient of pressure loss due to viscous friction in the stenotic segment and S is the coefficient of pressure loss due to flow separation at the diverging end of the stenosis. The linear term due to viscous friction accounted for 65% and the nonlinear term due to flow separation accounted for 35% of the total pressure loss at resting coronary flow. At peak coronary flow after coronary vasodilation, the pressure loss due to viscous friction accounted for 33% and pressure loss due to flow separation accounted for 67% of the total pressure loss. The pressure gradient-velocity relationship at high flows was characterized by the same general equation but with proportionately larger values of the coefficient S and therefore greater pressure loss associated with flow separation than predicted by the resting gradient-velocity relationship. The pressure loss predicted for high coronary flow velocities on the basis of the gradient-velocity equation at rest was only 64% of the actual experimentally observed pressure gradient at peak coronary flow. The augmented separation loss following coronary vasodilation probably was due to dilation of the epicardial artery adjacent to the fixed stenotic segment which caused more severe relative percent narrowing and a larger divergence angle at the distal end of the stenosis, the primary geometric determinants of separation losses.
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