Preserved left ventricular function during supine exercise in patients after orthotopic cardiac transplantation
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Cardiac denervation may affect cardiovascular responses during exercise in patients after orthotopic cardiac transplantation. In 17 such patients, haemodynamic responses and left ventricular function were examined by radionuclide ventriculography during and after supine exercise, at an average of 17.1 +/- 2.6 months after surgery. Data were also obtained during 'volume loading' brought about by leg elevation before exercise. Results were compared with those of six normal controls. At rest, heart rate was significantly faster among transplant patients than among controls (P less than 0.0003). No significant inter-group differences in changes in cardiovascular parameters were found between the two groups during leg elevation. During exercise, heart rate in transplant patients rose at a significantly slower rate than controls (P = 0.0001), but similar increases in ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac output were observed among transplant patients and controls. Decline in heart rate (P = 0.0001), ejection fraction (P = 0.0007) and cardiac output (P = 0.0001) was significantly slower in transplant patients during recovery. Although there were differences in rates of increases in heart rate between transplant patients and controls during supine exercise, there were no inter-group differences in increases in cardiac output and ejection fraction and changes in haemodynamic responses and left ventricular volumes.
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