Effect of CO2 on the systemic and coronary circulations and on coronary sinus blood gas tensions

Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir. Jul-Aug 1979;15(4):625-38.


The responses to hypocapnia and to hypercapnia of both the systemic and the coronary circulations have been studied in the dog during intermittent positive pressure ventilation under halothane anaesthesia. In the absence of significant variations of myocardial contractility, the reduction of cardiac output, because of hypocapnia, was determined by the increase of systemic vascular resistance, while the increase of cardiac output because of hypercapnia was determined by an increase of heart rate without change of stroke volume. The alterations of coronary blood flow (reduction following hypocapnia, augmentation following hypercapnia) were considerably larger than the changes of cardiac output and of myocardial oxygen consumption. Such disparity between oxygen supply and demand, together with the effect of pH and PCO2 on the oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve led to a marked reduction of coronary sinus PO2 in response to hypocapnia and a marked increase of coronary sinus PO2 in response to hypercapnia. The data suggests that PCO2 (or respiratory alterations of pH) may have a direct effect on the regulation of coronary blood flow. The low coronary sinus PO2 observed at hypocapnia may suggest the risk of myocardial ischaemia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood*
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Dogs
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Oxygen Consumption


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen