Diastolic ventricular interaction in chronic heart failure: relation to heart rate variability and neurohumoral status

John J. Atherton, Daniel J. Blackman, Thomas D. Moore, Anthony W. Bachmann, Terence J. Tunny, Helen L. Thomson, Richard D. Gordon, Michael P. Frenneaux

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It is likely that abnormal baroreflex control mechanisms are at least partially responsible for autonomic dysfunction in chronic heart failure. We recently demonstrated that diastolic ventricular interaction is associated with impaired baroreflex control of vascular resistance in heart failure. We reasoned that by constraining left ventricular filling, such interaction would decrease baroreflex activity and, thereby, increase sympathetic and decrease parasympathetic outflow. We hypothesized, therefore, that diastolic ventricular interaction in chronic heart failure patients would be associated with autonomic dysfunction. We used radionuclide ventriculography to measure changes in left and right ventricular end-diastolic volumes during acute volume unloading achieved by -30 mm Hg lower-body negative pressure in 30 patients with chronic heart failure. An increase in left ventricular volume in association with a reduction in right ventricular volume indicates diastolic ventricular interaction (a larger increase indicating a greater degree of interaction). We also measured heart rate variability (n = 23) and resting venous plasma norepinephrine (n = 24), epinephrine (n = 24), and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) (n = 14). During lower-body negative pressure, while right ventricular volume decreased in all patients (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalHeart and Vessels
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • Baroreflex
  • Diastole
  • Epinephrine
  • Female
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Rate
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Lower Body Negative Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine
  • Radionuclide Ventriculography
  • Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Vascular Resistance
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left

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