Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract The effects of myocardial stunning and ischemic preconditioning on left-ventricular developed pressure and end-diastolic pressure (diastolic stiffness) as well as on coronary-perfusion pressure were examined in isolated isovolumic rabbit hearts. The isovolumic relaxation was evaluated, and the time constant of pressure decay during the isovolumic period was calculated. Our experimental protocol comprised: 1) myocardial stunning-global ischemia (15 min) followed by reperfusion (30 min); 2) myocardial stunning-global ischemia (20 min) followed by reperfusion (30 min); and 3) ischemic preconditioning — a single cycle of brief global ischemia and reperfusion (5 min each), before a second ischemic period, of 20-min duration. There was no effect upon systolic and diastolic parameters when 15 and 20 minutes of ischemia were evaluated. In both stunned groups the left ventricular developed pressure first recovered to near control values, but then stabilized at only 60% of the control values. Whereas the isovolumic relaxation time constant was increased after 5 min of reperfusion, and return to control values at late reperfusion, the end diastolic pressure remained elevated during the entire period. Values of dP/dV calculated at common pressure levels, were used as a second index of diastolic stiffness. They were increased after stunning, as also was the coronary perfusion pressure. When the heart was preconditioned with a single episode of ischemia, the systolic and diastolic alterations were completely abolished. We thus concluded that diastolic abnormalities incurred by myocardial stunning consist in both an increase in diastolic stiffness and an early impairment of isovolumic relaxation. The increase in stiffness cannot result from incomplete relaxation since these two parameters become temporally dissociated during the reperfusion period.
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