The relation between anterograde blood flow through a coronary artery and the size of the perfusion bed it supplies is not known. Accordingly, the left circumflex coronary artery was cannulated and perfused with arterial blood in 12 open chest mongrel dogs. In Group I dogs (n = 7), the goal was to correlate the size of the perfusion bed with the magnitude of anterogradely derived myocardial blood flow. The size of the perfusion bed was measured with use of two-dimensional myocardial contrast echocardiography, whereas anterograde myocardial blood flow was determined by injecting radiolabeled microspheres directly into the artery. In Group II dogs (n = 5), the goal was to study the effects of altering coronary blood flow on both anterogradely and collateral vessel-derived myocardial flow within the perfusion bed. In these dogs, microspheres were injected directly into both the coronary artery and the left atrium at each flow rate. In Group I dogs, the left circumflex perfusion bed size, as defined by myocardial contrast echocardiography, decreased at lower anterograde myocardial blood flow rates. The change in perfusion bed size occurred at the lateral zones. There was a linear relation between the normalized perfusion bed size and the normalized anterograde myocardial blood flow: y = 0.45x + 54.2 (p < 0.001, r2 = 0.77). These results were substantiated in Group II dogs, in which the size of the perfusion bed was approximated with use of radiolabeled microspheres. The size of the perfusion bed was most affected when anterograde myocardial blood flow decreased to less than approximately 33% of normal. At the lowest flow rates, there was a linear relation between anterograde blood flow versus the fraction of the left circumflex flow derived anterogradely: y = 2.41x + 0.22 (p < 0.001, r2 = 0.90). The lower the level of anterograde flow, the greater was the blood flow derived from remote vessels. It is concluded that the size of the area perfused by a coronary artery is significantly influenced by the magnitude of anterograde blood flow through that artery. These findings may have important implications in experimental and clinical models of myocardial ischemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine