Pericardial influences on ventricular filling in the conscious dog. An analysis based on pericardial pressure.
Twenty-five dogs were chronically instrumented to investigate the effects of the normal pericardium on cardiac function. Pulse-transit ultrasonic transducers were implanted to measure multiple ventricular dimensions. The pericardium was incised transversely at the base of the heart and precisely reapproximated, so as to disturb its characteristics minimally. One week later, the dogs were studied in the conscious state, and left ventricular, right ventricular, pericardial, and pleural pressures were measured with matched micromanometers. Data were recorded before and after blood volume expansion. Absolute end-diastolic pericardial pressure varied directly with pleural pressure during the respiratory cycle. Transpericardial pressure (pericardial-pleural pressure) varied little with respiration and was related directly to ventricular diameter during the cardiac cycle with peak transpericardial pressure uniformly occurring at end-diastole. With volume infusion, normalized end-diastolic minor axis diameter and left ventricular transmural pressure (left ventricular-pleural pressure) increased significantly from 0.14 +/- 0.01 and 9.5 mm Hg +/- 1.0 mm Hg, respectively, in the control state to 0.20 +/- 0.01 and 19.3 mm Hg +/- 1.2 mm Hg after volume loading. End-diastolic transpericardial pressure also increased significantly from 2.3 +/- 0.5 mm Hg to 4.1 +/- 0.3 mm Hg, and represented approximately 21% of transmural left ventricular pressure. When measurements were obtained sequentially after implantation, transpericardial pressure was initially high but decreased with time, presumably due to pericardial creep. After volume loading, right ventricular end-diastolic transmural pressure averaged 9.6 mm Hg, and pericardial pressure constituted 42% of right ventricular pressure. Thus, pericardial restraining effects may predominantly influence right ventricular filling and affect the left ventricle through series interaction. In the normal conscious dog, transpericardial pressure remains low over the entire physiological range, and the direct influence of the normal pericardium on diastolic filling of the left ventricle appears to be minimal.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association