Cardiac performance of an isolated eel heart: effects of hypoxia and responses to coronary artery perfusion

J Exp Zool. 1992 May 1;262(2):113-21. doi: 10.1002/jez.1402620202.


The pericardial sac containing the heart was removed from large (2.7-6.3 kg) long-finned eels (Anguilla dieffenbachii). Coronary arteries were cannulated in preparation for perfusion with eel Ringer or red cell suspensions. The hearts were maintained by Ringer perfusion while the performance of the heart was assessed. Responses of the hearts to increases in filling pressure and output pressure were recorded. Maximum cardiac output was 22.3 +/- 1.4 ml/min/kg body mass (mean +/- 1 SEM; N = 9). The highest cardiac power output was measured at maximum cardiac output and was 3.39 +/- 0.32 mW/g ventricle mass (mean +/- 1 SEM; N = 9). Eel hearts could sustain output pressures near 80 cm H2O, but cardiac output was reduced and cardiac power output was 1.89 +/- 0.24 mW/g ventricular mass (mean +/- 1 SEM; N = 9). Maximum cardiac output decreased by 14% when hearts pumped hypoxic Ringer with a PO2 of 11.5 torr. At high input pressures concomitant with high output pressures (80 cm H2O), cardiac power output decreased by 38% upon exposure to hypoxic Ringer. Coronary perfusion of hypoxic hearts with red cell suspensions (mean hematocrit 10.4%) at a rate of 2% of control cardiac output (0.20 ml/min/kg body mass) had no effect on maximum cardiac output. However, coronary perfusion enabled hypoxic hearts to maintain cardiac output when output pressure was raised to 80 cm H2O. Under conditions of high input pressure and high output pressure, power output increased by 20% compared to hypoxic hearts without coronary perfusion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology*
  • Eels
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Heart / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Oxygen / physiology*
  • Perfusion


  • Oxygen