Systolic Hypertension and Subendocardial Hemorrhages Produced by Electrical Stimulation of the Stellate Ganglion
During prolonged electrical stimulation of the stellate ganglion in the dog, blood pressure, and more specifically systolic pressure, is significantly elevated. The amount of augmentation in pulse pressure is related to the frequency of stimulation, as is the duration of the sustained pressor response. Postmortem examination of the hearts revealed a distinctive pattern of subendocardial hemorrhages distributed along the long axis of the papillary muscles and the trabeculae carneae. They also frequently marked the endocardium at the base of the mitral valve. These lesions appeared in the left ventricle in 29 of 33 animals in which the left stellate ganglion was stimulated at a frequency of three to ten per second. They were found in only five instances in the right ventricles of these animals. The incidence of lesions in the ventricular wall was low during stimulation of the right stellate ganglion, although the mitral valve became involved in about 50 per cent of the animals. The similarity of the lesions to those induced during hemorrhagic hypotension, elevated intracranial pressures, and infusion of large quantities of the catecholamines suggests the possibility of a similar etiology. A satisfactory explanation of the lesion, however, is not yet available.
- Received June 2, 1961.
- © 1961 American Heart Association, Inc.