, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 638-652

Effects of myocardial contraction on coronary blood flow: An integrated model

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Abstract

The effects of myocardial contraction on the coronary flow are studied by means of an integrated structural model of left ventricular (LV) mechanics, coronary flow, and fluid and mass transport. This model relates global LV performance, and in particular coronary flow dynamics, to myocardial composition and structure and contractile sarcomere activity. Extravascular pressure is identified with hydrostatic tissue pressure,i. e., intramyocardial pressure (IMP), and is determined by the dynamics of myocardial contraction and fluid transport. Consistent with available experimental data, changes in myocardial function and contractile state are simulated by changing the sarcomere contractile properties or changing the LV loading conditions. The model's predictions are successfully compared with a wide range of experimental studies; all but one were performed at a constant coronary perfusion pressure and maximal vasodilation. The results indicate a domiant effect of the myocardial contractile state on coronary flow and a dissocation between coronary compression and LV cavity pressure (LVP) when the pressure is controlled by load changes. However, when active sarcomere contraction is regionally impaired by lidocaine, LVP plays an important role in the coronary flow characteristics. The model adequately predicts observations on the effect of cardiac contraction on systolic and diastolic coronary flows, as well as the role of LVP at different loading and contractile conditions. The analysis supports the hypothesis that coronary compression, as mediated through IMP, is independent of LV loading conditions and depends on myocardial contractility and coronary perfusion pressure.