Increased endothelin in experimental heart failure.
Recent studies demonstrate that endothelin, a potent endogenous vasoconstrictor peptide, circulates in plasma of normal animals and humans. However, the role of this peptide in pathophysiological states remains unclear. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that circulating endothelin concentrations are increased in experimental congestive heart failure (CHF), a pathophysiological state characterized by activation of vasoconstrictor mechanisms. In anesthetized dogs with CHF produced by 8 days of rapid ventricular pacing (n = 28), circulating plasma endothelin was increased compared with values for normal controls (n = 28; 20.4 +/- 1.4 versus 9.7 +/- 0.9 pg/ml, respectively; p less than 0.0001). A plasma endothelin level of more than 14.0 was a sensitive and specific indicator of significant CHF. Moreover, within the group with experimental CHF, right atrial pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure correlated independently with circulating endothelin levels. Based on recent studies demonstrating the physiological actions of twofold increases in circulating endothelin, as observed in the present study, a possible role for endothelin in the pathophysiology of CHF is advanced.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association