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Circulation. 1995 Oct 15;92(8):2327-32.

Adrenergic control of the force-frequency relation.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0613, USA.


This article briefly reviews recent experimental studies which show that beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation produces an important enhancement of the force-frequency relation on myocardial contractility. The basic property of the force-frequency effect to progressively enhance myocardial contractility as heart rate increases is augmented at each level of increasing adrenergic stimulation. This newly described intrinsic mechanism for the control of cardiac inotropic state, graded beta-adrenergic amplification of the force-frequency relation, is strongly manifested during normal exercise and infusion of a beta-adrenergic agonist at rest, and it influences both systolic and diastolic ventricular function. Significant impairment of adrenergic amplification of the force-frequency relation is observed in experimental heart failure and could contribute to impaired cardiac function during stress or exercise in this setting.

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