Biological reactions in the heart: what should we do in 'cardiology'? (33/951)

Humankind is on a similar evolutionary process to animals. Biological reactions in the human heart will be reviewed, and consideration will be made about what can be done in cardiology, from the viewpoints of basic, clinical and community medicine. Functional reactions of the heart to acute loading (exercise, etc) comprise myocardial contractility, preload, pump function and peripheral factors, and are mobilized step by step in that order, to maintain normal functioning. Morphological reactions to chronic loading (hypertension etc) comprise hypertrophy and dilatation, which are caused by mechanical and nonmechanical factors, but may not always be mobilized to maintain normal functioning. Various neurohumoral factors take part in the mechanisms, and modifications, of these reactions. They act in a complex manner according to the biological conditions, and may not always act to maintain normal functioning. The biological reactions in the heart (ie, Basic Cardiology) should not be interpreted as having purpose; that is, putting a value on humankind, although medical treatment (Clinical Cardiology) and the solution of health problems in the community (Community Cardiology) should be done from this viewpoint.  (+info)

Morphological adaptation of the cardiovascular system in fetal rats during late gestation. (34/951)

The aim of this study was to evaluate morphological changes of the cardiovascular system in fetal rats during late gestation. We used the rapid whole-body freezing technique for rats of day 17 through 21 of gestation. The right and left ventricular volumes increased markedly and significantly during this period by about 11- and 24-fold, respectively. Although the right ventricular volume was 108% larger with statistical significance than the left ventricular volume on day 17, they were almost equal after day 19. The length of the primum septum of the atrium significantly increased by 92% within 4 days, but the opening distance of foramen ovale significantly decreased by 14%. The ratio of the inner diameter (the sum of right and left pulmonary arteries to ductus arteriosus) significantly increased from 0.72+/-0.03 on day 17 to 1.17+/-0.07 on day 21. There was also a significant increase in the ratio of the inner diameters of the ascending to descending aorta. These observations suggest that the reduction of the opening distance of foramen ovale reflect the growth of pulmonary arteries.  (+info)

Influences of thigh cuffs on the cardiovascular system during 7-day head-down bed rest. (35/951)

Thigh cuffs, presently named "bracelets," consist of two straps fixed to the upper part of each thigh, applying a pressure of 30 mmHg. The objective was to evaluate the cardiac, arterial, and venous changes in a group of subjects in head-down tilt (HDT) for 7 days by using thigh cuffs during the daytime, and in a control group not using cuffs. The cardiovascular parameters were measured by echography and Doppler. Seven days in HDT reduced stroke volume in both groups (-10%; P < 0.05). Lower limb vascular resistance decreased more in the cuff group than in the control group (-29 vs. -4%; P < 0.05). Cerebral resistance increased in the control group only (+6%; P < 0.05). The jugular vein increased (+45%; P < 0.05) and femoral and popliteal veins decreased in cross-sectional area in both groups (-45 and -8%, respectively; P < 0.05). Carotid diameter tended to decrease (-5%; not significant) in both groups. Heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output, and total resistance did not change significantly. After 8 h with thigh cuffs, the cardiac and arterial parameters had recovered their pre-HDT level except for blood pressure (+6%; P < 0.05). Jugular vein size decreased from the pre-HDT level (-21%; P < 0.05), and femoral and popliteal vein size increased (+110 and +136%, respectively; P < 0.05). The thigh cuffs had no effect on the development of orthostatic intolerance during the 7 days in HDT.  (+info)

Cardiovascular hemodynamics with increasing exercise intensities in postmenopausal women. (36/951)

We sought to determine the cardiovascular responses to increasing exercise intensities in postmenopausal women with different physical activity levels and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) status. Forty-four women (11 sedentary, 19 physically active, 14 master athletes; 24 not on HRT, 20 on HRT) completed treadmill exercise at 40, 60, 80, and 100% of maximal oxygen consumption. Oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac output, determined via acetylene rebreathing, were measured at each exercise intensity. HRT did not affect cardiovascular hemodynamics. Stroke volume (SV) decreased significantly between 40 and 100% of maximal oxygen consumption in all groups, and the decrease did not differ among groups. The greater oxygen consumption of the athletes at each intensity was due to their significantly greater cardiac output, which was the result of a significantly greater SV, compared with both of the less active groups. The athletes had significantly lower total peripheral resistance at each exercise intensity than did the two less active groups. There were no consistent significant hemodynamic differences between the physically active and sedentary women. These results indicate that SV decreases in postmenopausal women as exercise intensity increases to maximum, regardless of their habitual physical activity levels or HRT status.  (+info)

Ageing of the cardiovascular system during 33 years of aerobic exercise. (37/951)

BACKGROUND: increasing age affects aerobic capacity, with an average loss of 10% or more per decade. AIM: to determine the effect of ageing on the circulatory system in middle-aged men during 33 years of physical training. METHODS: 15 men initially aged 45 years took part in an exercise training programme for 25-33 years. Nine serial measurements were made at rest and during maximal effort. Aerobic training consisted of swimming, jogging, walking and cycling 3-4 times per week. Sessions were for 61-70 min at 77-84% of heart rate reserve. RESULTS: there was no change in resting heart rate, blood pressure, percentage fat or body composition. Minimal cardiovascular losses at maximal work included 5.8-6.8% in maximal oxygen uptake per decade, 25 beats in maximum heart rate and 26 beats in heart rate reserve. CONCLUSION: exercise training has a favourable effect on ageing of the cardiovascular system in older men, resulting in minimal loss of oxygen uptake, no rise in resting blood pressure and no change in body composition.  (+info)

Renin-dependent cardiovascular functions and renin-independent blood-brain barrier functions revealed by renin-deficient mice. (38/951)

Renin plays a key role in controlling blood pressure through its specific cleavage of angiotensinogen to generate angiotensin I (AI). Although possible existence of the other angiotensin forming enzymes has been discussed to date, its in vivo function remains to be elucidated. To address the contribution of renin, we generated renin knockout mice. Homozygous mutant mice show neither detectable levels of plasma renin activity nor plasma AI, lowered blood pressure 20-30 mm Hg less than normal, increased urine and drinking volume, and altered renal morphology as those observed in angiotensinogen-deficient mice. We recently found the decreased density in granular layer cells of hippocampus and the impaired blood-brain barrier function in angiotensinogen-deficient mice. Surprisingly, however, such brain phenotypes were not observed in renin-deficient mice. Our results demonstrate an indispensable role for renin in the circulating angiotensin generation and in the maintenance of blood pressure, but suggest a dispensable role for renin in the blood-brain barrier function.  (+info)

Prediction of metabolic and cardiopulmonary responses to maximum cycle ergometry: a randomised study. (39/951)

All of the most widely-cited studies for the prediction of maximum exercise responses have utilized either volunteers or referred subjects. Therefore, selection bias, with overestimation of the reference values, is a likely consequence. In order to establish a set of predictive equations for the gas exchange, ventilatory and cardiovascular responses to maximum ramp-incremental cycle ergometry, this study prospectively evaluated 120 sedentary individuals (60 males, 60 females, aged 20-80), randomly-selected from >8,000 subjects. Regular physical activity pattern by questionnaire, body composition by anthropometry and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (n = 75) and knee strength by isokinetic dynamometry were also assessed. Previously reported equations typically overestimated the subjects' peak oxygen uptake (p<0.05). Prediction linear equations for the main variables of clinical interest were established by backward stepwise regression analysis including: sex, age, knee extensor peak torque, bone-free lean leg mass, total and lean body mass, height, and physical activity scores. Reference intervals (95% confidence limits) were calculated: some of these values differed markedly from those formerly recommended. The results therefore might provide a more appropriate frame of reference for interpretation of the responses to symptom-limited ramp incremental cycle ergometry in sedentary subjects; i.e. those usually referred for clinical cardiopulmonary exercise tests.  (+info)

Human cardiovascular and humoral responses to moderate muscle activation during dynamic exercise. (40/951)

We examined the hypothesis that activation of the muscle metaboreflex during dynamic exercise would augment influences tending to cause a rise in arginine vasopressin, plasma renin activity, and catecholamines during dynamic exercise in humans. Ten healthy adults performed 30 min of supine cycle ergometer exercise at approximately 50% of peak oxygen consumption with or without moderate muscle metaboreflex activation by application of 35 mmHg lower body positive pressure (LBPP). Application of LBPP during the first 15 or last 15 min of exercise increased mean arterial blood pressure, plasma lactate concentration, and minute ventilation, indicating an activation of the muscle metaboreflex. These changes were rapidly reversed when LBPP was removed. During exercise at this intensity, LBPP augmented the release of arginine vasopressin and catecholamines but not of plasma renin activity. These results suggest that, although in humans hormonal responses are induced by moderate activation of the muscle metaboreflex during dynamic exercise, the thresholds for these responses may not be uniform among the various glands and hormones.  (+info)