Left ventricular performance and contractility before and after volume infusion: a comparative study of preterm and full-term newborn lambs.
We studied left ventricular performance and contractility after volume loading in lambs at 122 days (group I, n = 9) and 139 days gestational age (group II, n = 9) and in 8-day-old full-term lambs (group III, n = 7). All were mechanically ventilated; each preterm lamb was treated with surfactant to stabilize pulmonary function and the ductus arteriosus was occluded with an inflated catheter balloon. Cineangiograms, left ventricular and vascular pressures, and the isovolumetric index of contractility, first derivative of left ventricular pressure (dP/dt), were recorded before and after three successive whole blood volume infusions of 10 ml/kg (total 30 ml/kg). The left ventricular end-diastolic volume per kilogram and stroke volume per kilogram increased significantly in all groups after volume infusion; these measurements and heart rate and systemic vascular resistance did not differ significantly between the groups either before or after the infusions. The left ventricular peak dP/dt did not change significantly within the groups during the volume infusions. The left ventricular stroke work was greatest in full-term animals and increased significantly in all groups after volume infusion. Thus, the left ventricles of the preterm and full-term lambs had quantitatively similar Frank-Starling responses and there was no increase in contractility during the infusions of whole blood. However, the left ventricle of the full-term lamb is capable of generating greater stroke work than that of the preterm lamb. These findings may contribute to the understanding of development aspects of postnatal circulatory adaptation.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association