Alterations in myocardial function during bacterial infective cardiomyopathy
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The status of myocardial function in rabbits subjected to cardiac catheterization and infection with Streptococcus viridans was assessed at 3 and 6 days. Sham-operated control animals as well as uninfected catheterized animals were used for comparison. Although left heart hypertrophy and interstitial edema were evident in both uninfected and infected animals, the infected animals exhibited in addition mononuclear cell infiltration and muscle degeneration as well as lung congestion and accumulation of pleural fluid. Both uninfected and infected animals has elevated levels of serum creatine phosphokinase, lactic dehydrogenase and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase as well as electrocardiographic abnormalities such as increased amplitude of the ORS complex and flattening or inversion of the T wave. Unlike findings in the uninfected animals, the serum calcium, magnesium and sodium levels were slightly but significantly decreased and serum potassium levels were increased in the infected rabbits. Both heart rate and pulse pressure were higher in 6 day uninfected and 3 day infected animals whereas 6 day infected animals showed a decrease in heart rate. In comparison to the sham-operated control rabbits and the uninfected animals, the infected animals exhibited depression in the rates of left ventricular pressure development and relaxation as well as prolongation in time for half relaxation in situ. Relative maximal contractile element velocity extrapolated from intraventricular pressure-velocity curves was decreased by 24, 52 and 76 percent, respectively, of control values in the uninfected hearts and those with 3 and 6 days of infection. The isolated perfused hearts from infected animals also generated less contractile force and showed a decrease in the rates of contraction and relaxation, but half-relaxation time was increased. These results demonstrate myocardial dysfunction during experimental bacterial endocarditis and provide evidence that infective cardiomyopathy is associated with heart failure.
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