Heart and Lungs as a Common Chamber during Extracorporeal Support of the Fibrillating Canine Heart
Ventricular fibrillation was induced by electric shock in both closed- and open-chest animals. Total body perfusion was provided by extracorporeal circulation with a bubble oxygenator. The failure of left heart pressure to increase during prolonged observations indicates the probable competency of the aortic valve and retrograde flow of bronchial arterial blood to the right heart. Evidence for left-to-right flow is shown by reciprocal pressures in parallel chambers, by recovery of isotope in the pulmonary artery following left heart and aortic injection and by a cardiopneumonogram. The existence of a common mean pressure in the left heart, lungs and right heart during ventricular fibrillation confirms the hypothesis that the central circulation is in essence a, system of tubes permitting the passive transfer of blood with the prevailing gradient.
- Received June 8, 1959.
- © 1959 American Heart Association, Inc.