Myocardial function and transmural blood flow during coronary venous retroperfusion in pigs.
BACKGROUND The degree of recovery of regional myocardial contraction during coronary venous retroperfusion has not been well established, particularly in the absence of coronary collateral channels. Therefore, the maximal functional benefit attainable with coronary venous retroperfusion was assessed in pigs by means of using selective pump retroperfusion of the left anterior descending vein, with venting of the left anterior descending artery to zero pressure.
METHODS AND RESULTS In eight anesthetized open-chest pigs during selective left anterior descending venous retroperfusion over a range of retroperfusion flows, regional myocardial function (percent systolic wall thickening by sonomicrometry) increased progressively to an average of 62% of control values at a retroperfusion flow rate 200% of control arterial flow. Progressive thickening of the end-diastolic dimension of the anterior wall was observed with increasing retroperfusion flow (from 8.7 +/- 0.9 to 10.7 +/- 2.3 mm, p less than 0.001). Perfusion pressures within the left anterior descending vein increased linearly with increased retroperfusion flow rates (up to 132 +/- 57 mm Hg with retroperfusion flow 200% of control). A gradual increase of retrograde left anterior descending arterial outflow was observed with increasing retroperfusion flows; however, the absolute amount (maximum, 8.3 +/- 4.1 ml/min) was much too low to explain the extent of functional recovery. Transmural myocardial capillary blood flows in the anterior wall with retroperfusion flows of 100% and 200% of control arterial flow were 0.22 and 0.42 ml/min/g with corresponding subendocardial blood flows of 0.14 and 0.29 ml/min/g; ratios of endocardium to epicardium were 0.51 and 0.61, respectively. Thus, capillary blood flows during selective retroperfusion were relatively low despite considerable restoration of regional systolic wall thickening, and a significant difference was noted in the slopes of the relations between regional systolic wall thickening and myocardial blood flow during retroperfusion and anterograde arterial perfusion (p less than 0.05). With retrograde injection of silicone elastomer at different retroperfusion pressures (50, 75, and 100 mm Hg) in three pigs, capillaries were well visualized, and profuse intramyocardial venous anastomotic connections were seen at the highest retroperfusion pressure (100 mm Hg), whereas there was filling of small venules but little capillary filling at the lowest retroperfusion pressure (50 mm Hg).
CONCLUSIONS Considerable recovery of regional myocardial function with low regional capillary blood flows were observed during acute venous retroperfusion with high retroperfusion flows with arterial blood. These findings together with low levels of retrograde arterial outflow and visualization of retrograde capillary filling with a rich venous network provide evidence for possible oxygen delivery via the intramyocardial venous plexus.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association