Reduced aortocoronary sinus extraction of epinephrine in patients with left ventricular failure secondary to long-term pressure or volume overload.
Heart failure is associated with a reduction in tissue norepinephrine concentration, catecholamine fluorescence, and tyrosine hydroxylase activity. We hypothesized that this attrition of sympathetic nerve function might also be associated with a reduction in the ability of the neuronal membrane to sequester catecholamines. Since the heart does not release epinephrine, the cardiac extraction of epinephrine should be an index of the membrane uptake system. In 12 patients with documented left ventricular failure (pulmonary edema) secondary to mechanical overload and in 10 patients with no history of heart failure, we measured simultaneous plasma catecholamine concentrations in the aorta, coronary sinus, and femoral vein. The aortocoronary sinus extraction of epinephrine was 43 +/- 17% in the group with no evidence of heart failure but 0 +/- 14% in the group with failure. Net norepinephrine outflow (release minus extraction) was significantly higher in the group with failure, possibly because of reduced extraction. There was neither a reduction in the ability of the lower limb to extract epinephrine nor an increased norepinephrine outflow from the limb. These findings suggest that the sympathetic neuronal membrane uptake system is also depressed in the failing heart and that if the mechanism of catecholamine sequestration in the heart is related to that in the lower limb, the ablation of sympathetic nerve function is specific to the heart and is not a result of a generalized depression of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association