The contractile state as the major determinant in the evolution of left ventricular dysfunction in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
Female spontaneously hypertensive and normotensive rats were studied at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months of age to determine which characteristics of myocardial performance herald the onset of left ventricular dysfunction. Peak ejection fraction index was derived from measurements of peak stroke volume (in vivo volume loading) and passive pressure-volume relations. The myocardial stiffness constant (km, slope of the incremental modulus-stress relation, EINC = km sigma), chamber stiffness constant (kc, slope of the chamber stiffness-pressure relation, dP/dV = kcP), and left ventricular cavitary volume-to-wall volume ratio at 10 mm Hg) were calculated from the pressure-volume data and the contractile state was assessed from the ejection fraction index-afterload relations. In the normotensive rats, the myocardial stiffness constant was not affected by age, whereas, in the spontaneously hypertensive rats, the myocardial stiffness constant remained within normal limits until 18 months, at which time a significant increase in this index of myocardial stiffness occurred. Baseline and maximal cardiac indices and ejection fraction index of spontaneously hypertensive rats were normal from 6 to 18 months, but were markedly reduced at 24 months. This reduction in cardiac performance was associated with a decrease in the left ventricular chamber stiffness constant, i.e., kc. This decreased chamber stiffness, which occurred at a time when myocardial stiffness was increased, was due to a greater increase in cavity size than in myocardial stiffness. The left ventricular cavity-to-wall volume ratio of normotensive rats was not affected by age, whereas, in the spontaneously hypertensive rats, this ratio markedly declined by 18 months. The ejection fraction index-afterload relations i.e., a measure of the contractile state, of the 6- and 12-month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats were similar to those of the normotensive rats of all ages. However, a depression in the contractile state of the spontaneously hypertensive rats occurred at 18 months and was further depressed at 24 months. This abnormality of the contractile state was evident before the deterioration of cardiac performance, as reflected in a decrease in baseline and maximal cardiac indices, and dilation of the left ventricle occurred. The contractile state (ejection fraction index-afterload relation) is thus the most sensitive indicator of left ventricular dysfunction in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association