The hemodynamic effects of phasic variations in intrathoracic pressure (ITP) timed to the cardiac cycle were predicted by a mathematical model and were compared with data from canine experimental studies. The model was used to predict the hemodynamic effects of changing the onset of the ITP rise relative to the start of cardiac systole, as well as the hemodynamic effects of changes in the duration and amplitude of the ITP rise. The predictions of the model were compared with hemodynamic data from seven anesthetized dogs. Cardiac function was depressed with large doses of verapamil and propranolol, and the hearts were atrioventricular sequentially paced at a rate of 72 beats/min. Phasic ITP variations were generated by a perithoracic vest and were electronically timed to the cardiac cycle. The model predicted, and the experimental data confirmed, that phasic intrathoracic pressure variations generated by vest inflation, timed to the cardiac cycle, can augment both peak and mean aortic flow. The following predictions of the model were also confirmed by the experimental data: 1) Maximum flow augmentation occurs when the onset of the ITP rise is simultaneous with the onset of left ventricular isovolumic contraction, and the ITP rise has a duration of 400 msec. 2) The magnitude of the flow augmentation is a function of the amplitude of the ITP rise. The experimental data showed that there was little further flow augmentation when the ITP rise was greater than 30-40 mm Hg. 3) The magnitude of flow augmentation was inversely proportional to the peak left ventricular elastance (E(max)). The best fit between the measured and predicted flow augmentations was obtained for an assumed E(max) of 0.5 mm Hg/ml, while E(max) measurements in three dogs, using a volume conductance catheter and transient vena caval occlusion, yielded values of 0.4-1.6 mm Hg/ml. Thus, both the mathematical model and canine experiments showed that relatively low-amplitude ITP variations, rising synchronously with the onset of cardiac systole and having an optimal duration, assist the failing heart by augmentation of aortic flow. The degree of cardiac assistance decreases if the ITP variations do not rise synchronously with the onset of systole, or if their duration is not optimal. Thus, properly applied ITP variations may be used as an efficient, noninvasive method to temporarily assist the failing heart.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine