Blood flow to the latissimus dorsi muscle pouch during chronic counterpulsation stimulation

K. K. Gealow, E. E. Solien, G. R. Lang, C. M. Evanson, R. W. Bianco, R. C.J. Chiu, S. J. Shumway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The cyclic contraction of a skeletal muscle ventricle (SMV) stimulated in counterpulsation results in phasic perfusion of the muscle. Perfusion will occur primarily during cardiac systole when the muscle is relaxed. However, the resting preload of the SMV will be systolic arterial pressure, which will impede blood flow to the relaxed muscle. To determine the effect of chronic counterpulsation stimulation on the blood flow to an SMV and identify stimulation regimens that prevent the risk of chronic ischemia, SMVs were created in four mongrel dogs by implementing an implantable mock circulation device. The SMV was stimulated in counterpulsation for 4 weeks after a 2-week vascular delay period and 2 weeks of low-frequency muscle conditioning. During biweekly studies, the muscle was stimulated in four modes against preloads varying from 20 to 120 mm Hg. Resting blood flow decreased significantly at preloads greater than 60 mm Hg. Normalized blood flow increased between 10% and 30% during stimulation; greater increases corresponded to more demanding stimulation modes. The elevated blood flow during stimulation, however, decreased with increasing preload. Stroke work increased with increasing preload until preload exceeded 100 mm Hg. The decreased blood flow and increased stroke work occurring at higher preloads indicate that the supply/demand ratio becomes compromised with increasing preload. A hyperemic response occurred during the resting beats after a stimulated beat, increasing the volume blood flow by as much as 80%. This response occurred regardless of preload or stimulation rate. If the SMV relaxed before the onset of systole, a hyperemic response occurred within the stimulated beat. During lower stimulation rates, the hyperemic response was maintained during all resting beats. Therefore stimulation regimens with shorter stimulation duration or lower stimulation rates may allow the hyperemic response to maintain adequate blood flow to the SMV without the risk of ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S306-S314
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

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