Alterations in pulse wave propagation reflect the degree of outflow tract banding in HH18 chicken embryos

Liang Shi, Sevan Goenezen, Stephen Haller, Monica T. Hinds, Kent L. Thornburg, Sandra Rugonyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Hemodynamic conditions play a critical role in embryonic cardiovascular development, and altered blood flow leads to congenital heart defects. Chicken embryos are frequently used as models of cardiac development, with abnormal blood flow achieved through surgical interventions such as outflow tract (OFT) banding, in which a suture is tightened around the heart OFT to restrict blood flow. Banding in embryos increases blood pressure and alters blood flow dynamics, leading to cardiac malformations similar to those seen in human congenital heart disease. In studying these hemodynamic changes, synchronization of data to the cardiac cycle is challenging, and alterations in the timing of cardiovascular events after interventions are frequently lost. To overcome this difficulty, we used ECG signals from chicken embryos (Hamburger- Hamilton stage 18, ~3 days of incubation) to synchronize blood pressure measurements and optical coherence tomography images. Our results revealed that, after 2 h of banding, blood pressure and pulse wave propagation strongly depend on band tightness. In particular, while pulse transit time in the heart OFT of control embryos is ~10% of the cardiac cycle, after banding (35% to 50% band tightness) it becomes negligible, indicating a faster OFT pulse wave velocity. Pulse wave propagation in the circulation is likewise affected; however, pulse transit time between the ventricle and dorsal aorta (at the level of the heart) is unchanged, suggesting an overall preservation of cardiovascular function. Changes in cardiac pressure wave propagation are likely contributing to the extent of cardiac malformations observed in banded hearts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H386-H396
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • Cardiovascular development
  • Electrocardiography
  • Hamburger-Hamilton
  • Micropressure measurement
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Pulse wave propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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