A cross‐species validation of single‐beat metrics of cardiac contractility
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The assessment of left ventricular (LV) contractility in animal models is useful in various experimental paradigms, yet obtaining such measures is inherently challenging and surgically invasive. In a cross-species study using small and large animals, we comprehensively tested the agreement and validity of multiple single-beat surrogate metrics of LV contractility against the field-standard metrics derived from inferior vena cava occlusion (IVCO). Fifty-six rats, 27 minipigs and 11 conscious dogs underwent LV and arterial catheterization and were assessed for a range of single-beat metrics of LV contractility. All single-beat metrics were tested for the various underlying assumptions required to be considered a valid metric of cardiac contractility, including load-independency, sensitivity to inotropic stimulation, and ability to diagnose contractile dysfunction in cardiac disease. Of all examined single-beat metrics, only LV maximal pressure normalized to end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic pressure normalized to EDV, and the maximal rate of rise of the LV pressure normalized to EDV showed a moderate-to-excellent agreement with their IVCO-derived reference measure and met all the underlying assumptions required to be considered as a valid cardiac contractile metric in both rodents and large-animal models. Our findings demonstrate that single-beat metrics can be used as a valid, reliable method to quantify cardiac contractile function in basic/preclinical experiments utilizing small- and large-animal models KEY POINTS: Validating and comparing indices of cardiac contractility that avoid caval occlusion would offer considerable advantages for the field of cardiovascular physiology. We comprehensively test the underlying assumptions of multiple single-beat indices of cardiac contractility in rodents and translate these findings to pigs and conscious dogs. We show that when performing caval occlusion is unfeasible, single-beat metrics can be utilized to accurately quantify cardiac inotropic function in basic and preclinical research employing various small and large animal species. We report that maximal left-ventricular (LV)-pressure normalized to end-diastolic volume (EDV), LV end-systolic pressure normalized to EDV and the maximal rate of rise of the LV pressure waveform normalized to EDV are the best three single-beat metrics to measure cardiac inotropic function in both small- and large-animal models.