The effect of the pericardium on ventricular systolic function in man.
To determine the role of the pericardium in man, ventricular function was studied in 20 patients who underwent pericardiotomy during coronary artery bypass surgery. Left and right ventricular function curves were generated before and after pericardiotomy by changing body position to alter venous pressure. Central venous (0--14 mm Hg) and pulmonary wedge pressures (1--25 mm Hg) ranged over normal and moderately elevated values. Pericardiotomy did not alter the relationship between left ventricular stroke work index and pulmonary wedge pressure, between right ventricular stroke work index and central venous pressure, or between pulmonary wedge pressure and central venous pressure. These data suggest that in patients with normal and moderately elevated filling pressures, the pericardium does not influence right or left ventricular systolic function or the coupling between the right and left ventricles.
- Copyright © 1980 by American Heart Association