Filling and arterial pressures as determinants of RV stroke volume in the sheep fetus

K. L. Thornburg, M. J. Morton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    103 Scopus citations


    Right ventricular (RV) function was investigated in nine fetal lambs (125-130 days gestation) that were instrumented with pulmonary artery electromagnetic flow sensors and vascular catheters. Control arterial CO2 and O2 tension, pH, and hematocrit values were 46.1 ± 1.6 (SD) Torr, 20.6 ± 1.8 Torr, 7.39 ± 0.02, and 31 ± 5.3%, respectively. Control values for right ventricular output (247 ± 75, stroke volume (SV, 1.5 ± 0.4, right atrial pressure (3.7 ± 1.2 mmHg), heart rate (166 ± 18 beats.min-1), and arterial pressure (AP, 43 ± 4 mmHg) were unchanged by administration of atropine and propranolol. Withdrawal and infusion of fetal blood with or without concomitant infusion of nitroprusside or phenylephrine produced RV function curves at low, normal, and high arterial pressures. All function curves had a steep ascending limb and a plateau. The breakpoint joining the limbs of the control curve was right atrial pressure 3.4 ± 1.2 mmHg and SV 1.5 ± 0.4 Increased AP shifted the breakpoint downward. Linear regression of SV on AP from 15 to 95 mmHg at right atrial pressure greater than breakpoint was SV = -0.016 mmHg-1.AP + 2.25

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)H656-H663
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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