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Summary

Right atrial, pulmonary artery, pulmonary capillary, pulmonary artery wedge, and systemic blood pressures of strenuously exercising horses increase markedly. As a consequence, myocardial metabolic O2 demand in exercising horses must be high. Experiments were, therefore, carried out on 9 healthy, exercise-conditioned horses (2.5 to 8 years old; 481 ± 16 kg) to ascertain the regional distribution of myocardial blood supply in the atria and ventricles at rest and during exercise. Blood flow was measured, using 15-μm-diameter radionuclide-labeled microspheres that were injected into the left ventricle while reference blood samples were being withdrawn at a constant rate from the thoracic aorta. Myocardial blood flow was determined at rest and during 2 exercise bouts performed on a high-speed treadmill at 8 and 13 m/s (0% grade). The sequence of exercise bouts was randomized among horses, and a 60-minute rest period was permitted between exercise bouts. There was considerable heterogeneity in the distribution of myocardial perfusion in the atria and the ventricles at rest; the right atrial myocardium received significantly (P < 0.05) less perfusion than did the left atrium, and these values were significantly (P < 0.05) less than those for the respective ventricular myocardium. The right ventricular myocardial blood flow also was significantly less than that in the left ventricle. With exercise, myocardial blood flow in all regions increased progressively with increasing work intensity and marked coronary vasodilation was observed in all cardiac regions. During exercise at 8 or 13 m/s, right and left atrial myocardial blood flows (per unit weight basis) were not different from each other. Although at treadmill speed of 8 m/s, left ventricular myocardial blood flow exceeded that in the right ventricle, this was not the case at 13 m/s, when perfusion values (per unit weight basis) became similar. These data suggested that, in exercising horses, myocardial metabolic O2 requirements increase markedly in all regions. However, the right atrial and right ventricular myocardial blood flows increased out of proportion to those in the left atrium and left ventricle, respectively.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Using radionuclide-labeled 15-μm-diameter microspheres injected into the left ventricle, we examined blood flow to the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, kidneys, and various gastrointestinal tract tissues in 9 healthy horses while they were standing quietly (rest) and during exercise at 2 work intensities (8 and 13 m/s). Hemodynamic measurements were made during steady-state conditions, as judged by the stability of heart rate as well as aortic, pulmonary, and right atrial pressures. The similarity of blood flow values for the left and the right kidneys during each of the 3 conditions indicated adequate mixing of microspheres with blood. In standing horses, of all tissues examined, the thyroid gland had the highest blood flow (1,655.2 ± 338.5 ml/min/100 g)—being about threefold that in the kidneys. Adrenal blood flow, by contrast, was only 25% of that in the kidneys (589.5 ± 50.4 ml/min/100 g). Among the gastrointestinal tract tissues, glandular stomach and pancreas had the highest blood flows (214.3 ± 21.6 and 197.6 ± 23.4 ml/min/100 g, respectively). Small intestinal perfusion was not different from that in the ventral colon and cecum, but their values exceeded those for the dorsal and small colons. Exercise at 8 and 13 m/s caused significant increase in adrenal blood flow as vascular resistance decreased significantly. In the kidneys, blood flow was only insignificantly affected during exercise at 8 m/s, but at 13 m/s there was a profound reduction in renal blood flow as intense renal vasoconstriction occurred. Vasoconstriction also caused thyroid and pancreatic blood flow to decrease significantly at both levels of exertion. Significant vasoconstriction occurring in all gastrointestional tract tissues at 8 and 13 m/s caused blood flow to be diverted away from these vascular beds. Thus, our data indicated that renal, adrenal, and splanchnic organ/tissue blood flow responses of strenuously exercising horses closely resemble those described for exercising ponies.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research