Sepsis-induced diastolic dysfunction in chronic canine peritonitis

T. J. Stahl, Peter B Alden, W. S. Ring, R. C. Madoff, F. B. Cerra

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45 Scopus citations


A chronic canine model of hyperdynamic sepsis was achieved by cecal ligation and puncture (SEP) in conjunction with continuous high-volume fluid resuscitation. Cardiac function was evaluated using ultrasonic cardiac crystals placed across the major, minor, and wall thickness axes of the left ventricle, together with simultaneous arterial and ventricular pressure measurement. Seven to 10 days after crystal implantation, animals were randomized to either SEP (n = 10) or sham laparotomy control (n = 7). SEP dogs became febrile and lethargic, with elevated leukocyte counts and positive blood cultures for enteric organisms. They were also hyperdynamic, with significant increases in heart rate and cardiac output and a fall in systemic vascular resistance. Systolic blood pressure, stroke volume, and ejection fraction remained stable. Relative to control, the SEP group demonstrated a significant reduction in intrinsic contractility during systole, as measured by the heart rate and load-independent index of left ventricular performance E(max) (P < 0.01), confirming the observations of others. In addition, however, diastolic function also became markedly abnormal with a progressive increase in unstressed and end-diastolic ventricular volumes (P < 0.05) and a significant decrease in myocardial compliance as quantitated by transmural pressure vs. volume-strain analysis. It is hypothesized that this increase in diastolic volume helps to maintain global cardiac performance during the hyperdynamic response to sepsis in the presence of adequate volume support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H625-H633
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3 27-3
StatePublished - 1990


  • cardiac performance
  • load-independent index of left ventricular performance
  • ventricular compliance


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