Influence of the Pericardium on Diastolic Compliance

  • Martin M. LeWinter


The influence of the pericardium on diastolic compliance is a function of the distensibility of the pericardium itself, the distensibility of the cardiac chambers, and the total volume contained within the cardiac chambers [1]. To illustrate the latter factor, it is reasonable to expect that at a given left ventricular volume, the influence of the pericardium on left ventricular compliance will be directly proportional to the volume contained within the other cardiac chambers, since it is the total cardiac volume that determines pericardial distention. An additional effect of the pericardium on diastolic compliance has to do with the fact that the intact pericardium has a substantial modulating influence on diastolic interaction between the ventricles, i.e., the amount of interaction is markedly reduced when the pericardium is removed [2, 3]. For some time, we have been particularly interested in examining both the distensibility of the pericardium and its influence on the diastolic pressure-volume relation of the cardiac chambers. We have not specifically studied diastolic ventricular interaction. However, our basic approach to assessing the influence of the pericardium on compliance is quite straightforward. We simply examine the intracavitary pressure-volume (or dimension) relation of a cardiac chamber before and after pericardiectomy. In this fashion, we determine the net effect of the pericardium on compliance; included in this net effect is the pericardial modulation of ventricular interaction. This chapter will serve to review certain aspects of this work which have already been completed and, in addition, more recent work which is currently in progress.


Cardiac Chamber Stretch Ratio Downward Shift Intact Heart Steep Portion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    LeWinter M, Pavelec R (1982). Influence of the pericardium on left ventricular end-diastolic pressure-segment length relations during early and later phases of experimental chronic volume overload in dogs. Circ Res 50: 501–510.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Taylor RR, Covell JW, Sonnenblick EH, Ross J Jr (1967). Dependence of ventricular distensibility on filling of the opposite ventricle: Am J Physiol 213: 711–718.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Janicki JS, Weber KT (1980). The pericardium and ventricular interaction, distensibility and function. Am J Physiol 238:494–503.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lee MC, LeWinter MM, Freeman G; et al (1985). Biaxial mechanical properties of the pericardium in normal and volume overload dogs. Am J Physiol 249: H222 - H230.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lee MC, Fung YC, Shabetal R, LeWinter MM: (1986). Biaxial mechanical properties of the human pericardium and canine comparisons. Am J Physiol 253: H75 - H82.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mann DL, Lew W, Waldman L, et al (1986). In vivo mechanical behavior of canine pericardium. Am J Physiol 251: H349 - H356.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Holt JP, Rhode EA, Kines H (1960). Pericardial and ventricular pressure. Circ Res 8: 1171–1181.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Freeman G, LeWinter MM (1984). Pericardial adaptation during chronic cardiac dilation in dogs. Circ Res 54: 294–300.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hefner LL, Coghlan CH, Jones WB, Reeves TJ (1961). Distensibility of the dog left ventricle. Am J Physiol 201: 97–101.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Glantz SA, Misbach GA, Moores, WY, et al (1978). The pericardium substantially affects the left ventricular diastolic pressure-volume relationship in the dog. Circ Res (1978). 42: 433–441.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stokland O, Miller MM, Lekven J, Ilebekk A (1980). The significance of the intact pericardium for cardiac performance in the dog. Circ Res 47: 27–32.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smiseth OA, Frais MA, Kingma I, et al (1986). Assessment of pericardial constraint: The relation between right ventricular filling pressure and pericardial pressure measured after pericardiocentesis. J Am Coll Cardiol 7: 307–314.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Assanelli D, Lew WYW, Shabetal R, LeWinter MM (1987). Influence of the pericardium on right and left ventricular filling in the dog. Am J Physiol (in press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin M. LeWinter

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations