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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Oct;84(10):985-91.

Effects of sympathetic stimulation during cooling on hypothermic as well as posthypothermic hemodynamic function.

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Department of Medical Physiology, Institute of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, and Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway.


This experimental study was performed to explore hemodynamic effects of a moderate dose epinephrine (Epi) during hypothermia and to test the hypothesis whether sympathetic stimulation during cooling affects myocardial function following rewarming. Two groups of male Wistar rats (each, n=7) were cooled to 15 degrees C, maintained at this temperature for 1 h, and then rewarmed. Group 1 received 1 microg/min Epi, i.v., for 1 h during cooling to 28 degrees C, a dose known to elevate cardiac output (CO) by approximately 25% at 37 degrees C. Group 2 served a saline solution control. At 37 degrees C, Epi infusion elevated CO, left ventricular systolic pressure, maximum rate of left ventricle pressure rise, and mean arterial pressure. During cooling to 28 degrees C, these variables, with the exception of mean arterial pressure, decreased in parallel to those in the saline solution group. In contrast, in the Epi group, mean arterial pressure remained increased and total peripheral resistance was significantly elevated at 28 degrees C. Compared with corresponding prehypothermic values, most hemodynamic variables were lowered after 1 h at 15 degrees C in both groups (except for stroke volume). After rewarming, alterations in hemodynamic variables in the Epi-treated group were more prominent than in saline solution controls. Thus, before cooling, continuous Epi infusion predominantly stimulates myocardial mechanical function, materialized as elevation of CO, left ventricular systolic pressure, and maximum rate of left ventricle pressure rise. Cooling, on the other hand, apparently eradicates central hemodynamic effects of Epi and during stable hypothermia, elevation of peripheral vascular vasopressor effects seem to take over. In contrast to temperature-matched, non-Epi stimulated control rats, a significant depression of myocardial mechanical function occurs during rewarming following a moderate sympathetic stimulus during initial cooling.

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