MICROCIRCULATION IN THE HYPERTROPHIC AND ISCHEMIC HEART EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY Tillmanns, H., Neumann, F. J., Parekh, N., Zimmermann, R., Tiefenbacher, C., Dorigo, O., Steinhausen, M., Kubler, W. 1990; 39: S9-S12


1. Myocardial hypertrophy, for instance in patients with hypertensive heart disease, is characterized by a reduction of coronary vascular reserve, even in the presence of normal coronary arteries. In hypertensive animals, on the microcirculatory level functional changes can be observed before the onset of any structural rarefications. In 10 rats with renal hypertension and pressure-induced left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), the microcirculation of the left ventricular myocardium was studied using in vivo fluorescence microscopy and morphometric analysis. Renal hypertension was provoked by clipping of the left renal artery. After 8 weeks, systolic blood pressure in LVH rats averaged 172 +/- 8 mm Hg, compared to 91 +/- 2 mm Hg in 10 normotensive (NT) rats. In LVH rats, distances of plasma-perfused capillaries were significantly increased (NT = 17.7; LVH = 20 microns; p less than 0.001). Volume density, surface density, and length density of capillaries in LVH rats were reduced by 20% compared to NT rats. Capillary red cell content as measured by the ratio of capillaries filled with red cells to those containing plasma alone (Q) in LVH animals exceeded that in NT rats (LVH: Q = 0.83 +/- 0.04; NT: Q = 0.77 +/- 0.04; p less than 0.025). During hypoxia (H, 5% O2) capillary red cell recruitment in LVH rats (Q: control c = 0.83; H = 0.95) was diminished by 33% as compared to NT rats (Q: c = 0.77; H = 0.95). Thus, in addition to the decreased capillary density, the reduction of capillary red cell recruitment may be responsible for chest pain in patients with LVH and normal coronary arteries.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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