Mechanism of global functional recovery despite sustained postischemic regional stunning

Willie E. Lawrence, W. Lowell Maughan, David A. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background. The mechanisms whereby reperfusion of a 20-minute coronary occlusion result in global functional recovery despite persistent regional dysfunction were studied in 11 open-chest reflex-blocked dogs. Methods and Results. Pressure-volume and pressure-thickness relations were simultaneously determined before, during, and after reperfusion of left anterior descending artery (LAD) occlusion. Wall thickness was determined by sonomicrometry in both ischemic and remote regions. Chamber systolic function was assessed by end-systolic pressure-volume relations (ESPVR) obtained by conductance catheter and defined by a slope (Ees) and volume shift at a common end-systolic pressure (ΔVes). LAD occlusion produced regional systolic thinning (-7±6%) and global left ventricular dysfunction (ESPVR shifted rightward (ΔVes =+8.6±5.1 ml, p<0.001) with no Ees change). After nearly 1 hour of reperfusion, LAD region thickening remained markedly reduced at 4±7% (versus 23±8%, control), yet chamber systolic function fully recovered (ESPVR shifted back leftward ΔVes = -8.9±6.5 ml). Ischemia induced a leftward shift and systolic thinning of LAD region pressure-thickness relations. Reperfusion returned end-systolic pressure-thickness relations halfway to their control position and diastolic relations fully to control position. This was primarily due to increased passive stiffening in about half the hearts and a partial return of active function in the remaining ones. The net effect was to eliminate systolic thinning over a physiological loading range, thus normalizing chamber systolic performance. Reflex activation, remote hyperfunction, or altered chamber loading did not account for the postreperfusion disparity between global and regional function. Conclusions. These data suggest a mechanism to account for greater functional benefits of reperfusion beyond that anticipated from regional wall motion analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-827
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992


  • Pressure-volume relation
  • Regional ischemia
  • Stunned myocardium
  • Ventricular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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