Pulmonary artery wedge pressure increases with high-intensity exercise in horses

Murli Manohar From the Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801.

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 BVSc, PhD

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SUMMARY

Using catheter mounted microtip manometers, right atrial, pulmonary artery, and pulmonary artery wedge pressures were studied in 8 horses while they were standing quietly (rest), and during galloping at treadmill speeds of 8, 10, and 13 m/s. At rest, mean (± sem) heart rate, mean right atrial pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure, and mean pulmonary artery wedge pressure were 37 (± 2) beats/min, 8 (± 2) mm of Hg, 31 (± 2) mm of Hg, and 18 (± 2) mm of Hg, respectively. Exercise at treadmill belt speed of 8 m/s resulted in significant (P < 0.05) increments in heart rate, right atrial pressure, pulmonary artery systolic, mean, diastolic and pulse pressures, and pulmonary artery wedge pressure. All these variables registered further significant (P < 0.05) increments as work intensity increased to 10 m/s, and then to 13 m/s. Pulmonary artery diastolic pressure was, however, not different among the 3 work intensities. During exercise at belt speed of 13 m/s, heart rate, mean right atrial pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary artery pulse pressure, and mean pulmonary artery wedge pressure were 213 (± 5) beats/min, 44 (± 4) mm of Hg, 89 (± 5) mm of Hg, 69 (± 4) mm of Hg, and 56 (± 4) mm of Hg, respectively. Assuming mean intravascular pulmonary capillary pressure to be halfway between the mean pulmonary arterial and venous pressures, its value during exercise at 13 m/s may have approached 72.5 mm of Hg. Transmural pressure (intravascular minus alveolar pressure) across pulmonary capillaries may be even higher because of the large negative pleural pressure swings in galloping horses. High transmural pressures may cause stress failure of pulmonary capillaries, resulting in exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

SUMMARY

Using catheter mounted microtip manometers, right atrial, pulmonary artery, and pulmonary artery wedge pressures were studied in 8 horses while they were standing quietly (rest), and during galloping at treadmill speeds of 8, 10, and 13 m/s. At rest, mean (± sem) heart rate, mean right atrial pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure, and mean pulmonary artery wedge pressure were 37 (± 2) beats/min, 8 (± 2) mm of Hg, 31 (± 2) mm of Hg, and 18 (± 2) mm of Hg, respectively. Exercise at treadmill belt speed of 8 m/s resulted in significant (P < 0.05) increments in heart rate, right atrial pressure, pulmonary artery systolic, mean, diastolic and pulse pressures, and pulmonary artery wedge pressure. All these variables registered further significant (P < 0.05) increments as work intensity increased to 10 m/s, and then to 13 m/s. Pulmonary artery diastolic pressure was, however, not different among the 3 work intensities. During exercise at belt speed of 13 m/s, heart rate, mean right atrial pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary artery pulse pressure, and mean pulmonary artery wedge pressure were 213 (± 5) beats/min, 44 (± 4) mm of Hg, 89 (± 5) mm of Hg, 69 (± 4) mm of Hg, and 56 (± 4) mm of Hg, respectively. Assuming mean intravascular pulmonary capillary pressure to be halfway between the mean pulmonary arterial and venous pressures, its value during exercise at 13 m/s may have approached 72.5 mm of Hg. Transmural pressure (intravascular minus alveolar pressure) across pulmonary capillaries may be even higher because of the large negative pleural pressure swings in galloping horses. High transmural pressures may cause stress failure of pulmonary capillaries, resulting in exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

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