Sympathetic vasoconstriction during exercise in ambulatory patients with left ventricular failure.
In patients with heart failure, exercise is thought to increase sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone. To investigate the extent of this sympathetic activation, we studied the effect of maximal exercise on nonexercising vascular beds in 35 patients with left ventricular failure (ejection fraction, 21 +/- 8%; peak exercise oxygen uptake (VO2), 12.3 +/- 3.5 ml/min/kg). In 28 patients, cardiac output and leg blood flow were measured during maximal upright bicycle exercise. Total flow to nonexercising tissue was then calculated as cardiac output--(2 x leg flow). In seven patients and six normal subjects, forearm blood flow was measured during supine bicycle exercise before and after alpha-adrenergic blockade with intravenous phentolamine. Maximal upright exercise increased the vascular resistance of nonexercising tissue from 34 +/- 16 units at upright rest to 45 +/- 25 units (p less than 0.02) but did not affect total flow to nonexercising tissue (rest, 2.9 +/- 1.0; maximal exercise, 2.8 +/- 1.4 l/min; p = NS). Supine exercise had no significant effect on forearm blood flow or vascular resistance in the normal subjects. In the patients with heart failure, supine exercise increased forearm vascular resistance from 45 +/- 17 to 58 +/- 25 mm Hg/ml/min/100 ml (p less than 0.02), again with no change in tissue flow (rest, 2.4 +/- 0.1; maximal exercise, 2.4 +/- 0.9 ml/min/100 ml; p = NS).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association