Effects of catecholamines and potassium on cardiovascular performance in the rabbit Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Resting subjects risk cardiac arrest if plasma potassium ([K+]p) is raised rapidly to 7–9 mM, but brief bouts of exhaustive exercise in healthy subjects can give similar [K+]p without causing cardiac problems. We investigated the effects of [K+]p and catecholamines on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and mean aortic flow (MAF) in anesthetized rabbits and on maximum output pressure (MOP) in isolated working rabbit hearts. In six rabbits, hyperkalemia (11.4 +/- 0.4 mM) caused a fall in SBP from 116 +/- 6 to 49 +/- 6 mmHg and in MAF from 373 +/- 30 to 181 +/- 53 ml/min (P < 0.01). Raising [K+]p (11.6 +/- 0.3 mM) with norepinephrine (NE) (1.3 micrograms.kg-1.min-1 iv), however, increased SBP from 108 +/- 7 to 150 +/- 6 mmHg (P < 0.01) and MAF from 347 +/- 42 to 434 +/- 35 ml/min (P < 0.01). In 19 isolated working hearts, perfusion with 8 mM K+ Tyrode and then 12 mM K+ Tyrode reduced MOP from 87 +/- 3 (control 4 mM K+) to 67 +/- 3 (8 mM K+) and 51 +/- 2 cmH2O (12 mM K+) (P < 0.01); 12 mM K+ Tyrode with 0.08 microM NE or epinephrine, however, increased MOP from 67 +/- 6 (in 8 mM K+) to 85 +/- 6 cmH2O (NE) and from 58 +/- 2 to 76 +/- 5 cmH2O (epinephrine) (P < 0.01). Catecholamines may therefore play a key role in protecting the heart from exercise-induced hyperkalemia.

publication date

  • October 1, 1992