Alteration of the left ventricular diastolic pressure-segment length relation produced by the pericardium. Effects of cardiac distension and afterload reduction in conscious dogs

Circulation
K ShiratoJ Ross

Abstract

Left ventricular pressure and segment length were measured in seven conscious chronically instrumented dogs with the pericardium intact and 3-9 days after pericardiectomy. Diastolic pressure-length plots were obtained under control conditions and after acute volume loading followed by sodium nitroprusside infusion. In all dogs with intact pericardium, volume loading displaced the entire diastolic pressure-length curve upwards and sodium nitroprusside shifted it toward control. After pericardiectomy the pressure-segment length data during control, volume loading and sodium nitroprusside fell on a single curve (intercepts and slopes not statistically different); After dextran infusion, intrapericardial pressure rose from control 1.5 +/- 0.7 mm Hg to 8.2 +/- 0.5 mm Hg, and it fell to 4.8 +/- 0.1 mm Hg after nitroprusside. Therefore, in acute cardiac dilatation the pericardium contributed significantly to the increased left ventricular diastolic pressure and to the fall during sodium nitroprusside infusion and appeared responsible for shifts in the diastolic pressure-segment length relation.

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