Postnatal Changes in Left Ventricular Volume and Contractility in Healthy Term Infants
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- Kishkurno, S., Takahashi, Y., Harada, K. et al. Pediatr Cardiol (1997) 18: 91. doi:10.1007/s002469900123
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To evaluate how the size of the ductus arteriosus affects neonatal left ventricular (LV) volume and contractility, we serially obtained two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiograms at 2, 12, 24, and 120 hours after birth in 20 healthy infants. LV volume was calculated by the biplanar Simpson's rule, and ductus arteriosus size with left-to-right shunting was measured by two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography. At 2 hours, the ductus arteriosus was at its maximal size, and the LV end-diastolic volume was 1.2-fold higher than at the subsequent hours after birth. Additionally, there was a significant linear correlation between the end-diastolic volume and the ductal diameter. In contrast, the peripheral vascular resistance, derived from blood pressure measurements and Doppler echocardiography, was lowest at 2 hours of age. The mean normalized systolic ejection rate, an index of contractility, remained constant throughout the study period. These results suggest that alterations in the LV end-diastolic volume soon after birth depend on changes in ductal flow, which in turn is affected by ductal diameter, and that the neonatal left ventricle operates at its maximal performance with limited contractility during ductal patency.