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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of dopamine and atrial pacing on stunned myocardium.

OBJECTIVE: Post-ischaemic stunned myocardium shows an impaired function at restored coronary blood flow, but performance can be normalized by positive inotropic stimulation. The power of stunned myocardium, however, is not augmented with increasing heart rate by atrial pacing, which is in contrast to intact areas. This pathological response is mitigated by inhibiting the degradation of cyclic AMP. The present experiments studied the effect of stimulating cyclic AMP formation by dopamine on the response of stunned myocardium to atrial pacing. METHODS: In anaesthetized (piritramide) open chest pigs, heart rate, left ventricular and aortic pressure, left descending (LAD) and circumflex (LCX) coronary artery and aortic blood flow, myocardial systolic shortening in the LAD and LCX area were monitored, and myocardial power was calculated. The LAD region was subjected to ischaemia and reperfused for 2 h. Subsequently, heart rate was raised by right atrial pacing before and during intravenous infusion of dopamine (10 microg/kg per min). The ischaemic/reperfused area was sliced post mortem and stained by triphenyl tetrazolium chloride to exclude myocardial infarction. Data from 11 experiments are presented. RESULTS: After 2 h LAD reperfusion, LAD blood flow and power were 100% and 36% of pre-ischaemic control, respectively, indicating myocardial stunning. The power of the intact area was not changed significantly (111% of control). Increasing heart rate by +36 and +70 from 94 beats/min increased the power of the intact area to 161% and 183% of control; the power of the stunned myocardium decreased to 34% and 19% of pre-stunning control. Dopamine increased the power of the stunned region to 143% of the pre-stunning level and the power of the intact area to 206% of control. Increasing heart rate by +34 and +70 from 113 beats/min during dopamine, increased the power of the intact myocardium to 288% and 344% of control and the power of the stunned region to 177% and 174% of the pre-stunning level. CONCLUSIONS: The data confirm the pathological response of stunned myocardium to atrial pacing and the recruitment of a functional reserve by catecholamines. The adverse effect of pacing on the function of stunned myocardium is abolished by positive inotropic stimulation. Possibly, the cyclic AMP system is involved in the normal response to pacing and this pathway is disturbed in stunned myocardium; other defects are not excluded or supported, however. Physiologically increased heart rate by an increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system, is probably not accompanied by a reduced power of stunned myocardium, due to the associated positive inotropic stimulation.[1]


  1. Effect of dopamine and atrial pacing on stunned myocardium. Schad, H., Heimisch, W., Eising, G.P., Mendler, N. European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery. (1998) [Pubmed]
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