Pericardial influences on right and left ventricular filling dynamics.
The influence of the pericardium on right and left ventricular filling was studied using two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography in 14 open-chest dogs. Doppler echo parameters of filling included early (E) and late (A) velocities and their ratio (E/A) for the mitral and tricuspid valves. Right and left ventricular volumes were calculated from orthogonal two-dimensional echocardiographic images. Data were compared at three levels of left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (6 +/- 2, 13 +/- 3, and 21 +/- 4 mm Hg) at matched heart rates before and after pericardiectomy. The instantaneous diastolic pressure gradient was measured in 12 of the dogs. Pericardiectomy resulted in an increase in early mitral velocity, peak early diastolic pressure gradient, and E/A but not early mitral velocity normalized for end-diastolic volume. In contrast, for the tricuspid valve flow, pericardiectomy did not change E but caused a marked increase in A and a decrease in E/A. Right ventricular end-diastolic volumes at matched left ventricular end-diastolic volumes were similar before and after the pericardium was removed. However, removal of the pericardium caused a significant decrease of the slope for the right (86.0 +/- 27.0 x 10(-4) versus 50.0 +/- 19.5 x 10(-4) mm Hg/ml, p less than 0.01), but not left, ventricular ln end-diastolic pressure-volume relation (21.2 +/- 9.2 x 10(-3) versus 21.4 +/- 5.3 x 10(-3) mm Hg/ml, p = NS), and a decrease of the pressure intercept for the left (3.0 +/- 2.0 versus 1.6 +/- 0.9 mm Hg, p less than 0.05), but not right, ventricular ln end-diastolic pressure-volume relation (2.8 +/- 1.4 versus 1.4 +/- 0.8 mm Hg, p = NS). In conclusion, filling of the two ventricles is affected by the pericardium over a wide range of physiological ventricular volumes and pressures. At matched left ventricular end-diastolic volume, pericardiectomy causes a fundamental alteration in right, but not left, ventricular filling.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association