Effect of large volume infusion on left ventricular volumes, performance and contractility parameters in normal volunteers

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Abstract

Objective:

Characterize the normal human cardiovascular response to large volume infusion of normal saline.

Design::

Prospective, interventional trial.

Setting:

ICU procedure room.

Participants:

Healthy male volunteers (n=32).

Interventions:

Volumetric echocardiography during 4-L saline infusion (3 L over 3 h followed by 1 L over 2 h).

Measurements and results:

Following 3-L saline infusion, stroke volume and cardiac output increased approximately 10% without a significant change in heart rate or blood pressure. A decrease in end-systolic volume contributed to the increase in stroke volume to an extent similar to that provided by the increase in end-diastolic volume. All contractility indices except end-systolic wall stress/end-systolic volume index were increased at 3 h post-initiation of saline infusion. Stroke volume but not cardiac output remained elevated at 5 h with persistence of ventricular volume responses; only ejection fraction was significantly elevated among the contractility indices. Afterload measures including total peripheral resistance and end-systolic wall stress were significantly decreased after 3-L infusion but were unchanged compared to baseline following infusion of an additional 1 L over 2 h. Modeled blood viscosity studies demonstrate that changes in apparent contractility after 3-L saline infusion can be explained solely by viscosity reduction associated with hypervolemic hemodilution.

Conclusion:

The initial increase in stroke volume associated with high volume saline infusion in normal volunteers is associated with increases of most load-dependent and ostensibly load-independent parameters of left ventricular contractility. This phenomenon is unlikely to represent a true increase in contractility and appears to be caused by reduced afterload as a consequence of decreased blood viscosity. This decrease in blood viscosity may complicate analysis of some previous in vivo studies examining the effect of volume loading on cardiac function using low-viscosity solutions.

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