Right atrial pressure-volume relationships in tricuspid regurgitation.
Pressure-volume relationships in the right atrium were examined before and after the creation of acute experimental tricuspid regurgitation in pigs. A 1.3 kHz multielectrode impedance catheter with a measuring current of 4 mA was used to determine instantaneous right atrial pressure and relative blood volume; right atrial dimension was assessed simultaneously with ultrasonic crystals attached to the atrial walls. Impedance volume waveforms and ultrasonic crystal dimensions closely paralleled each other at baseline and after the induction of tricuspid regurgitation. The normal right atrial pressure-volume plot exhibited a figure-of-eight configuration, with an "a-loop" and a "v-loop" corresponding to the a-wave and v-wave of the right atrial pressure tracing. With severe tricuspid regurgitation, atrial pump function was abolished, and the pressure-volume plot exhibited a single clockwise loop, consistent with complete ventricularization of the right atrium. Intermediate degrees of tricuspid regurgitation preserved the figure-of-eight loop, but the size of both the a-loop and the v-loop were increased, consistent with a Starling-type load imposed on the atrium by the regurgitant blood volume. Increased right ventricular afterload mediated by constriction of the pulmonary artery and infusion of methoxamine reversibly converted the right atrial pressure-volume loop from that of mild to that of severe tricuspid regurgitation. Alternatively, constriction of the inferior vena cava and infusion of nitroprusside changed the right atrial pressure-volume loop from that of a severe pattern of tricuspid regurgitation to a less severe type of pattern. Infusion of dobutamine increased the size of the a-loop relative to the v-loop both at baseline and after induction of tricuspid regurgitation. We conclude that tricuspid regurgitation induces changes in right atrial mechanics that can be detected and quantified with an impedance catheter.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association