Myocardial oxygen consumption, oxygen supply/demand heterogeneity, and microvascular patency in regionally stunned myocardium

L. D. Stahl, H. R. Weiss, L. C. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Although oxygen consumption closely parallels mechanical work in the normal heart, previous studies have found that stunned myocardium may have normal or even increased oxygen consumption despite depressed function. In this study we used microspectrophotometry to measure the oxygen saturations within arteries and veins of less than 100 μm diameter in quick-frozen biopsy samples from normal and regionally stunned myocardium of 10 open-chest anesthetized dogs. Regional myocardial blood flow, measured by radioactive microspheres, was similar in stunned and normal regions, as was mean arteriolar oxygen saturation. However, mean venous oxygen saturation was lower in the stunned region (epicardium 38.0% vs 43.8%, p < .02; endocardium 36.2% vs 39.5%, p = .12), indicating increased oxygen extraction and consumption, despite a marked reduction in mean systolic segmental shortening from 14.4% to 0.5%. In addition, there was greater vein-to-vein heterogeneity of oxygen saturation in the stunned region, with an excess of veins having low saturations (statistically significant in epicardium, nonsignificant trend in endocardium). Microvascular injection studies with Microfil or drafting ink revealed filling of over 95% of arterioles and 85% of capillaries in the stunned region, similar to the findings in the normal region. Our results are consistent with an inefficient transfer of energy into myocyte contraction or an increased use of energy for noncontractile activities in stunned myocardium. In addition, the finding of increased heterogeneity of oxygen extraction suggests that the injury to stunned myocardium may not be uniform to all contractile elements, but instead may be focally and irregularly distributed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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