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Ann Thorac Surg. 2001 Jul;72(1):156-62.

Impacts of pulsatile systemic circulation on endothelium-derived nitric oxide release in anesthetized dogs.

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Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.



The effects of pulsatile flow on endothelium-derived nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation are not fully elucidated in an in vivo model.


A left ventricular assist device was established in 10 anesthetized dogs with a centrifugal pump and an air-driven pneumatic pump. The systemic circulation was subjected to step changes in the frequency of pulse (0, 30, 60, and 120 bpm with a fixed pulse pressure of 50 mm Hg), and in the amplitude of pulse (0, 20, and 50 mm Hg with a fixed pulse rate of 120 bpm). Hemodynamic variables and calculated total systemic vascular resistance were compared before and after the administration of N(G)-Nitro-L-arginine Methyl Ester (L-NAME) (20 mg/kg). Plasma NO2-/NO3- concentration levels were also measured.


Total systemic vascular resistance significantly decreased while plasma NO2-/No3- concentration increased in response to the rise in both pulse rate and pulse pressure. However, L-NAME significantly diminished these effects of pulsatile flow.


Both the frequency and the amplitude of pulse wave in the systemic circulation are significant independent stimuli for endothelium-derived nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation in vivo.

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