Role of nitric oxide on the central hemodynamic response to acute volume expansion in the pregnant rat

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Our hypothesis was that during pregnancy nitric oxide acts as mediator in the hemodynamic response to volume expansion.

STUDY DESIGN

The study was performed on 12 rats on days 19 to 20 of pregnancy. Six rats were injected intravenously with hexamethonium bromide plus the inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase L-nitro-arginine methyl ester. For a control group, six rats were injected with hexamethonium bromide plus the L-nitro-arginine methyl ester vehicle. A volume expansion (1.2% body weight) was performed in both groups by intravenous infusion of bovine albumin (6%) solution.

RESULTS

In the control group volume expansion induced a hyperdynamic circulation characterized by increased cardiac output, decreased total vascular resistance, and no change in arterial pressure; however, in the study group volume expansion induced a pressor response without hyperdynamic circulation.

CONCLUSION

During pregnancy volume expansion induces a hyperdynamic circulatory state possibly mediated by nitric oxide release. A defect in the release of nitric oxide may be responsible for an inadequate hemodynamic response to volume expansion. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;178:823-9.)

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