A novel technique is presented to study suction of the in situ left ventricle in open-chest experimental animals without requiring cardiopulmonary bypass or disturbing the native mitral valvular apparatus. In 17 dogs, left ventricular pressure (LVP) and left atrial pressure (LAP) were measured, the left atrium was cannulated and connected to a servo pump, and LAP was controlled to a setpoint near 0 mmHg by withdrawing blood from the left atrium. Heart rate [103 +/- 17 (SD) min-1], peak pressure (100 +/- 13 mmHg), minimum pressure (1.4 +/- 0.8 mmHg), and maximum rate of change of pressure with respect to time during isovolumic contraction and relaxation (2,506 +/- 775 and -1,761 +/- 855 mmHg/s, respectively) were normal. Servo control of LAP was possible to +/- 1 mmHg. LV suction was demonstrated in each heart (mean negative LVP -2.3 +/- 1.1 mmHg; P < 0.0001). This new technique demonstrates that the left ventricle can generate negative diastolic suction pressures when examined in vivo and in situ with an undisturbed mitral valve and physiologically normal preload and afterload. This adds to a growing body of evidence that, under appropriate circumstances, the heart can suck blood into itself and thereby aid in its own filling.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994NY98500044
View details for PubMedID 8048601