Changes in the radius of curvature of the ventricular septum at end diastole during pulmonary arterial and aortic constrictions in the dog.
BACKGROUND At end diastole, the position and shape of the ventricular septum depend on the transseptal pressure gradient. It is not clear, however, how the septal radius of curvature changes in response to the gradual change in transseptal pressure gradient during progressive pulmonary arterial constriction (PAC) and aortic constriction (AC).
METHODS AND RESULTS In 11 anesthetized open-chest dogs, the septal radius of curvature was measured from the short-axis two-dimensional echocardiogram, and the transseptal pressure gradient (left ventricular [LV] pressure minus right ventricular [RV] pressure) was calculated from ventricular pressures measured with micromanometers. Seven dogs were studied with both PAC and AC (group 1) and four dogs only with PAC, which was initiated before and after volume loading (group 2). The transseptal pressure gradient decreased during PAC. As the transseptal pressure gradient decreased, the septum shifted continuously leftward with decreases in the LV septum-free wall diameter and in LV cross-sectional area. The septal radius of curvature (Rs) increased until the septum became flat. The flat septum (i.e., Rs = infinity) occurred at a relatively constant value of transseptal pressure gradient (-4.6 +/- 1.4 mm Hg) independently of the absolute values of LV pressures when between 2 and 9 mm Hg, although necessarily a greater RV pressure was needed to make the septum flat when LV pressure was higher. After inversion, the septum again became curved, with a decrease in the absolute value of septal radius of curvature as the transseptal pressure gradient became increasingly negative. The septum was still concave to the LV cavity at zero transseptal pressure gradient, and its curvature decreased (i.e., its radius of curvature increased) with increases in ventricular pressures. During AC, the septal radius of curvature also increased, but with an increase in transseptal pressure gradient accompanied by increases in LV septum-free wall diameter and in LV area. In group 2 animals, at zero transseptal pressure gradient, the normalized septal radius of curvature was greater (p less than 0.005) at high LV pressure than at low LV pressure. The transseptal pressure gradient required to make the septum flat was not significantly different between low and high LV pressure, which confirmed the results of group 1.
CONCLUSIONS The results of the present study show that the shape and position of the ventricular septum are determined by the transseptal pressure gradient but that the shape of the septum is also affected by the ventricular pressures. The septum was not flat but rather still concave to the LV cavity at zero transseptal pressure gradient. Approximately 5 mm Hg of negative transseptal pressure gradient was required to displace the septum farther leftward and make it flat. The septal radius of curvature increased during both PAC (which decreased transseptal pressure gradient) and AC (which increased transseptal pressure gradient), indicating that the mechanisms involved in changing septal radius of curvature are different during PAC and AC.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association