Effects of pacing tachycardia and balloon valvuloplasty on pulmonary artery impedance and hydraulic power in mitral stenosis.
BACKGROUND Mitral stenosis is characterized by progressive pulmonary hypertension and eventual right ventricular failure. However, the correlation between right ventricular failure and the level of pulmonary hypertension is poor, suggesting that factors other than those recognized from nonpulsatile hemodynamic parameters may contribute to impaired right ventricular performance in this condition.
METHODS AND RESULTS We studied 16 patients with severe mitral stenosis (mean valve area, 1.0 +/- 0.2 cm2) at supine rest and during pacing tachycardia using high-fidelity catheter recordings of pulmonary artery (PA) pressure and flow velocity. Pulmonary impedance spectra, wave reflection properties, and hydraulic power data were derived from Fourier analysis of signal-averaged data. Pacing tachycardia (baseline heart rate, 81 +/- 11 beats per minute; pacing, 132 +/- 11 beats per minute) significantly raised pulmonary wedge and mean PA pressures. There was no change in pulmonary vascular resistance (209 +/- 144 to 232 +/- 164 dyne-sec/cm5) or PA characteristic impedance (62 +/- 25 to 55 +/- 28 dyne-sec/cm5). However, first harmonic impedance (Z1) significantly decreased (134 +/- 71 to 100 +/- 68 dyne-sec/cm5; p < 0.001). Accordingly, oscillatory and total dissipated hydraulic power per unit forward flow (WT/CO) fell during tachycardia (2.6 +/- 1.6 to 2.3 +/- 1.4 mW/ml.sec-1; p = 0.06) despite acute pulmonary hypertension. Reflected pressure waves returned earlier to the proximal PA, suggesting increased vessel stiffness. Immediately after percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty (PBV) in eight of the patients, baseline and pacing data were again recorded. Compared with the pre-PBV baseline state, post-PBV resting data demonstrated no change in resistance or characteristic impedance, but there was a significant fall in Z1 (166 +/- 75 to 103 +/- 45 dyne-sec/cm5; p < 0.05) and in the magnitude of pulmonary wave reflections. WT/CO tended to decrease after PBV, and pacing after PBV produced a further decrease in WT/CO, again in association with lower Z1.
CONCLUSIONS These data demonstrate that 1) increased pulmonary characteristic impedance, although a feature of mitral stenosis, is not exacerbated by the acute effects of increased distending pressure; 2) pacing tachycardia in mitral stenosis causes little change in the pulmonary impedance spectrum except at low frequencies, where decreased impedance lowers power requirements per unit flow; and 3) relief of mitral stenosis produces immediate improvement in low-frequency impedance and in hydraulic power requirements. These findings suggest that although characteristic impedance may be a measure of the long-term effects of pulmonary hypertension on the pulmonary circulation, acute increases and decreases in PA pressure produce effects on right ventricular load that are best described in terms of the low-frequency properties of the PA system. Improvement in low-frequency impedance diminishes hydraulic power requirements and thus reflects improved ventricular-vascular coupling, irrespective of distending PA pressure. Efforts to treat or prevent right heart failure in the presence of pulmonary hypertension should take account of the potential benefit of changes in low-frequency impedance characteristics of the pulmonary vascular bed.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association