Alterations in Left Ventricular Twist Mechanics With Inotropic Stimulation and Volume Loading in Human Subjects

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Left ventricular (LV) twist, the longitudinal gradient of circumferential rotation about the LV long axis, may play an important role in the storage of potential energy at end systole and its subsequent release as elastic recoil during early diastole; however, the effects of load and inotropic state on LV systolic twist and diastolic untwist in human subjects have not previously been characterized.

Methods and Results

Six cardiac transplant recipients with 12 implanted radiopaque midwall LV myocardial markers were studied 1 year after transplantation. Biplane cinefluoroscopic marker images and LV pressure were recorded during control conditions and after afterload augnentation (methoxamine, 5 to 10 μg· kg−1· min−1), inotropic stimulation (dobutamine, 5μg· kg−1 min−1), and preload augmentation (volume loading with normal saline). Systolic twist dynamics were assessed by maximum twist (Tmax,[rad/cm]), peak negative twist rate (−dT/dtmin[rad. cm−1. s−1]), and the slope of the twist normalized-ejection fraction relation (T-nEFR, Msys)4rad/cm]) during systole. Diastolic untwist was assessed by the peak positive untwist rate (+dT/dtmax [rad. cm−1. s−1) and the slopes (rad/cm) of the T-nEFR during early diastole (Mear-dia) and mid diastole (Mmid-dia). Compared with control values, LV pressure and volume loading had no significant effect on Tmax, −dT/dtmin, or Msys,; however, inotropic stimulation significantly increased all parameters describing systolic twist (Tmax: −0.10±0.03 versus −0.06±0.02 rad/cm, P < .001; −dT/dtmin:−0.72±0.19 versus −0.44±0.22 rad. cm−1. s−1, P < .001; Msys: −0.10±0.03 versus −0.06±0.01 rad/cm, P < .001). Pressure loading had no effect on early diastolic untwisting; however, dobutamine significantly increased Maard.a (−0.24±0.06 versus −0.13±0.04 rad/cm, P < .0001) and +dT/dtma., (0.78±0.24 versus 0.45±0.16 rad. cm−1 s−1, P < .001). Conversely, volume loading significantly decreased Mear-dia (−0.08±0.04 versus −0.13±0.04 rad/cm, P < .05). Mearéia correlated directly with LV contractile state (as assessed as maximum dP/dt, r = .60, P < .0001) and inversely with end-systolic volume (r = − .87, P < .0001) but was unrelated to stroke volume (r = .08, P = .30) or LV afterload (estimated as effective arterial elastance, r = .08, P = .29). Mmid-dia did not change during any intervention.


In conscious human transplant patients, (1) pressure and volume loading do not affect systolic LV twist; (2) dobutamine augments systolic twist and early diastolic untwisting, suggesting more end-systolic potential energy storage and early diastolic elastic recoil with enhanced inotropic state; (3) volume loading decreases early diastolic untwisting, possibly reflecting diminished recoil forces after preload augmentation associated with larger end-systolic volumes (ESV); and (4) Mear-dia correlates strongly with ESV (in an inverse fashion), and less strongly, but directly, with LV dP/dtmax.

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