An in situ perfused crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) heart preparation was used to examine the mechanical responses of the heart to increases in adrenaline concentration, to a decrease in oxygen tension and to opening of the pericardium. Starling and power curves were constructed before and after these experimental manipulations. Increasing adrenaline concentration in the perfusate from 5 nmol l-1 to 0.5 µmol l-1 produced a significant increase in heart rate and a decrease in stroke volume, leaving cardiac output unchanged. With maximal adrenergic stimulation, the left ventricle was able to generate greater power outputs at high right aortic output pressures; however, the right ventricle showed a decrease in performance with increasing output pressure. Decreasing the PO2 of the perfusate to 10 kPa resulted in a significant bradycardia. Both the flow and pressure-generating capabilities of the perfused heart preparation were reduced, although the heart was able to maintain low work levels at this PO2. Opening the pericardium permitted greater movement/expansion of the cardiac chambers and resulted in an increase in heart rate. Higher flows were generated at low filling pressures during the input pressure challenge as a result of an increase in the sensitivity of the Starling response.
The role of the pericardium and the effects of adrenaline and changes in oxygen tension on the performance of an in situ perfused crocodile heart
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M Axelsson, C Franklin; The role of the pericardium and the effects of adrenaline and changes in oxygen tension on the performance of an in situ perfused crocodile heart. J Exp Biol 1 December 1995; 198 (12): 2509–2518. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.198.12.2509
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