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Am J Physiol. 1985 Oct;249(4 Pt 2):H834-42.

Microvascular, interstitial, and lymphatic interactions in normal heart.


Control of transmicrovascular fluid exchange in the heart is of critical importance in the prevention of myocardial edema formation. To quantify the absolute values for, and the interrelationships between, the forces and flows governing fluid balance within the normal heart, the following variables were measured: arterial pressure (Pa), coronary sinus pressure (Pcs), myocardial interstitial fluid pressure (Pint), plasma protein concentration (Cp), and oncotic pressure (tau cap) along with interstitial protein concentration (CL), interstitial oncotic pressure (tau int), and left ventricular lymph flow rate (Jv). All parameters were recorded under control conditions and during graded venous pressure elevations. Control values were Pa, 125 +/- 21 mmHg; Pcs, 7.3 +/- 1.3 mmHg; Pint, 14.9 +/- 3.1 mmHg; CL/Cp, 0.82 +/- 0.12; and Jv, 7.0 +/- 2.7 ml/h. As Pcs was elevated to eight times control, Pint increased from 15 to 50 mmHg and lymph flow rose sixfold. A filtration-independent value for CL/Cp could not be obtained for total plasma protein, although a washdown CL/Cp value for beta-lipoprotein of 0.04 was obtained. Our data indicate that a large surface area of myocardial exchange vessels coupled with lymphatics of relatively low sensitivity to extravascular volume expansion produce a system that relies on a large increase in interstitial hydrostatic pressure to limit edema formation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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