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J Clin Invest. 1983 Sep;72(3):935-47.

Regional blood flow distribution in dog during induced hypotension and low cardiac output. Spontaneous breathing versus artificial ventilation.


Respiratory muscle blood flow and organ blood flow was studied in two groups of dogs with radioactively labeled microspheres to assess the influence of the working respiratory muscles on the regional distribution of blood flow when arterial pressure and cardiac output were lowered by pericardial tamponade. In one group (n = 6), the dogs were paralyzed and mechanically ventilated (Mv), while in the other (n = 6), they were left to breathe spontaneously (Sb). Cardiac output fell to 30% of control values during tamponade in both groups and was maintained constant. None of the dogs was hypoxic. Ventilation in the Sb group peaked after 50 min of hypotension, but remained unchanged in the Mv group. Duplicate measurements of blood flow were made during a control period and after 50 min of tamponade (corresponding to the peak ventilation in Sb). Blood flow to the respiratory muscles increased significantly (P less than 0.001) during tamponade in Sb (diaphragmatic flow increased to 361% of control values), while it decreased in Mv. Although the arterial blood pressure and cardiac output were comparable in the two groups, blood flow distribution during tamponade was different. In Sb, the respiratory muscles received 21% of the cardiac output, compared with only 3% in the Mv group. Thus, by muscle paralysis and Mv, a large fraction of the cardiac output used by the working respiratory muscles can be made available for perfusion of other organs during low cardiac output state: blood flows to the liver, brain, and quadriceps muscles were significantly higher during tamponade in the Mv group compared with the Sb group. Similarly, blood lactate at all times after the induction of low cardiac output and hypotension was significantly lower in the Mv animals (P less than 0.005).

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