Effect of atrial systole on canine and porcine coronary blood flow.
A feature of phasic coronary flow patterns recorded in conscious chronically instrumented dogs is the atrial cove--a transient depression of arterial flow that occurs during atrial systole. The association between the hemodynamic effects of atrial systole and the atrial cove was studied in anesthetized dogs and pigs with complete heart block. Many atrial coves are available for study in these preparations because atrial activity continues unabated during the diastolic ventricular arrest that follows cessation of electrical pacing. The effect of atrial systole is to translate the pressure-flow relation found during diastole to a higher intercept pressure without change in slope. The increase in the intercept pressure equals the increase in intramyocardial pressure measured with microtransducers embedded in the left ventricular wall. The decrement in flow during the atrial cove is a direct function of the change in intramyocardial pressure and an inverse function of coronary vascular resistance. Each atrial systole is associated with a forward flow transient in the coronary veins, the peak of which occurs at the same instant as does the nadir of atrial flow. These data suggest that the coronary vessels are acting as collapsible tubes and that the waterfall model of the coronary circulation is applicable. The following sequence is proposed to account for the atrial cove. Atrial systole ejects a bolus of blood into the left ventricle increasing both ventricular cavity and intramyocardial pressures. The increase in intramyocardial pressure raises the back pressure opposing coronary flow, reducing the arterial perfusion pressure gradient and causing flow to fall.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association