Left ventricular failure induced by long-term hypertension in rats.
To determine whether the duration of hypertension is an essential component in the evolution of myocardial dysfunction, renal artery constriction was performed in male Fischer 344 rats at 4 months of age, and in vivo global cardiac performance of sham-operated and experimental animals was evaluated 8 months later. Systemic arterial blood pressure increased to 173 +/- 5 mm Hg 2 weeks after the arteries were clipped and remained elevated for the following 5 months. Blood pressure decreased over the remaining 3 months to a value not significantly different from control rats that were killed, 132 +/- 4 mm Hg. After 8 months of renovascular hypertension, we observed that the elevated level of systolic arterial pressure was accompanied by a distinct absence of left ventricular hypertrophy when measured at the ventricular weight level. Moreover, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure increased in hypertensive animals from 6.0 to 24.0 mm Hg while peak left ventricular pressure was identical to controls. In addition, peak +dP/dt and -dP/dt were depressed in hypertensive animals. Although stroke volume was unaltered, cardiac output in renal artery clipped animals was depressed by 34% while total peripheral resistance was elevated by 50%. Ventricular chamber remodeling in the hearts of hypertensive animals was evidenced as a 19% increase in the transverse and a 16% increase in the longitudinal axes of the left ventricle with a 27% diminution of wall thickness. Myocardial damage, in the form of myocyte loss and replacement fibrosis, increased in the hearts of hypertensive animals resulting in a ninefold augmentation in the volume fraction of collagen within the ventricular wall. These alterations in the architectural properties of chamber geometry coupled with the abnormalities in contractile performance resulted in a severe reduction in ejection fraction from 82% to 47% and a marked elevation in transmural diastolic and systolic stress in hypertensive animals. The gradient in stress across the ventricular wall, from epicardium to endocardium, revealed a direct correlation with the regional distribution of myocardial damage. In conclusion, the loading state of the myocardium, tissue injury, and myocardial fibrosis all appear to be critical determinants in the genesis of left ventricular failure in long-term pressure overload.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association