Effects of hypoxia and hypercapnia on cardiac contractility and energetics

  • Johannes H. G. M. van Beek


The main goal of the regulation of lung ventilation is to maintain blood concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide at physiological levels.1Here we will consider effects of hypoxia and hypercapnia on the heart, the pump which takes care of the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lung and the rest of the body. Oxygen supply to the heart tissue is essential to provide energy for the cardiac pump function. Depression of cardiac aerobic metabolism is dangerous, because the heart provides the driving force for its own perfusion and oxygen supply. A surplus of carbon dioxide in the blood, hypercapnia, leads to a fast increase in acidity in the heart muscle cell, suppressing cardiac contractility. Adequate control of lung ventilation is therefore important to the heart, but we will see that the heart itself can cope with hypoxemia and hypercapnia within certain limits.


Cardiac Contractility Arterial Oxygen Saturation Myocardial Stunning Develop Left Ventricular Pressure Heart Muscle Cell 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

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  • Johannes H. G. M. van Beek

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