Serial echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular geometry and function after large myocardial infarction in the rat.
BACKGROUND: The development of heart failure after acute myocardial infarction (MI) may be related to alterations of left ventricular (LV) structure and function. Pathological LV remodeling may exacerbate systolic and diastolic dysfunction because increased cavity dimensions tend to increase LV wall stress. Unfortunately, many complicating factors have made it difficult to clearly define the time course of LV remodeling after myocardial infarction in patients, and the contribution of structural changes to altered function has not been fully explored. METHODS AND RESULTS: To determine the type, magnitude, and time course of changes in LV geometry and function, we performed transthoracic Doppler echocardiographic examinations in rats before and 1 and 6 weeks after transmural MI induced by coronary ligation. LV internal diastolic dimension was greater in infarcted than in sham-operated rats at 1 and 6 weeks after MI (9.4 +/- 0.6 versus 8.0 +/- 0.5 and 10.1 +/- 0.9 versus 8.5 +/- 0.9 mm, respectively; P < .05 compared with sham-operated rats). There was significant thinning of the infarcted anterior wall at 1 and 6 weeks (0.99 +/- 0.2 versus 1.33 +/- 0.19 and 0.96 +/- 0.22 versus 1.51 +/- 0.18 mm, P < .05), while the thickness of the noninfarcted posterior wall increased but was not different from normal growth in sham-operated rats. Six weeks after surgery, fractional shortening was impaired (11 +/- 5% versus 35 +/- 5%, P < .05), and systolic thickening of the noninfarcted posterior wall was depressed (38 +/- 9% versus 67 +/- 18%, P < .05) in infarcted rats compared with shams. These changes in structure and systolic function were accompanied by progressive alterations in LV diastolic filling. Peak early filling velocity increased at 1 and 6 weeks in MI rats (91 +/- 9 versus 79 +/- 9 and 100 +/- 14 versus 74 +/- 11 cm/s, P < .05), and the deceleration rate of the early filling wave was more rapid in rats with MI (21.6 +/- 5.0 versus 15.6 +/- 3.1 and 26.1 +/- 9.8 versus 11.2 +/- 2.7 m/s2, P < .05). Late filling velocity was decreased (16 +/- 15 versus 33 +/- 7 and 15 +/- 18 versus 34 +/- 5 cm/s, P < .05), resulting in a marked increase in the ratio of early to late filling. The peak velocity and the velocity-time integral of LV outflow did not change after MI. CONCLUSIONS: Postinfarction LV remodeling in the rat is characterized by progressive cavity dilatation, inadequate hypertrophy of the surviving myocardium, the gradual development of regional contractile dysfunction in noninfarcted segments, and marked abnormalities of diastolic filling. These changes can be tracked longitudinally with transthoracic echocardiography.
Litwin, SE; Katz, SE; Morgan, JP; Douglas, PS
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