, Volume 34, Issue 12, pp 1833-1845,
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Dependence of Intramyocardial Pressure and Coronary Flow on Ventricular Loading and Contractility: A Model Study


The phasic coronary arterial inflow during the normal cardiac cycle has been explained with simple (waterfall, intramyocardial pump) models, emphasizing the role of ventricular pressure. To explain changes in isovolumic and low afterload beats, these models were extended with the effect of three-dimensional wall stress, nonlinear characteristics of the coronary bed, and extravascular fluid exchange. With the associated increase in the number of model parameters, a detailed parameter sensitivity analysis has become difficult. Therefore we investigated the primary relations between ventricular pressure and volume, wall stress, intramyocardial pressure and coronary blood flow, with a mathematical model with a limited number of parameters. The model replicates several experimental observations: the phasic character of coronary inflow is virtually independent of maximum ventricular pressure, the amplitude of the coronary flow signal varies about proportionally with cardiac contractility, and intramyocardial pressure in the ventricular wall may exceed ventricular pressure. A parameter sensitivity analysis shows that the normalized amplitude of coronary inflow is mainly determined by contractility, reflected in ventricular pressure and, at low ventricular volumes, radial wall stress. Normalized flow amplitude is less sensitive to myocardial coronary compliance and resistance, and to the relation between active fiber stress, time, and sarcomere shortening velocity.