Bilateral sympathectomy improves postinfarction left ventricular remodeling and function

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Abstract

Objectives:

To evaluate the influence of bilateral or left sympathectomy on left ventricular remodeling and function after myocardial infarction in rats.

Methods:

Myocardial infarction was induced in rats by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary. Seven days later, rats were divided into 4 groups: the myocardial infarction, myocardial infarction with left sympathectomy, myocardial infarction with bilateral sympathectomy, and sham groups. After 8 weeks, left ventricular function was evaluated with the use of a pressure-volume conductance catheter under steady-state conditions and pharmacological stress. Infarct size and extracellular matrix fibrosis were evaluated, and cardiac matrix metalloproteinases and myocardial inflammatory markers were analyzed.

Results:

The myocardial infarction and left sympathectomy group had an increased end diastolic volume, whereas the bilateral sympathectomy group had a mean end-diastolic volume similar to that of the sham group (P < .002). Significant reduction in ejection fraction was observed in the myocardial infarction and left sympathectomy group, whereas it was preserved after bilateral sympathectomy (P < .001). In response to dobutamine, left ventricular contractility increased in sham rats, rising stroke work, cardiac output, systolic volume, end-diastolic volume, ejection fraction, and dP/dt max. Only bilateral sympathectomy rats had significant increases in ejection fraction (P < .001) with dobutamine. Fibrotic tissue and matrix metalloproteinase expression decreased in the bilateral sympathectomy group compared to that in the myocardial infarction group (P < .001) and was associated with left ventricular wall thickness maintenance and better apoptotic markers in noninfarcted myocardium.

Conclusions:

Bilateral sympathectomy effectively attenuated left ventricular remodeling and preserved systolic function after myocardial infarction induction in rats.

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