Objectives: We sought to assess the ability of preload-adjusted maximal power measured by echocardiographic automated border detection (ABD) to quantify left ventricular (LV) contractility by determining the effects of alterations in preload, afterload and contractile state.
Background: Preload-adjusted maximal power can reflect LV contractile state relatively independent of changes in loading conditions.
Methods: Eight anesthetized dogs had placement of aortic electromagnetic flow probes, LV and arterial pressure catheters and inferior vena caval (IVC) occluders; four had placement of thoracic aortic balloon occluders. Echocardiographic ABD measures of cross-sectional area were used as a surrogate for LV volume, and flow was estimated as the first derivative of area with respect to time. Power was calculated as the product of flow and pressure.
Results: Preload independence during vena caval occlusions was achieved by preload adjustment (1/[end-diastolic area]3/2). Afterload independence was demonstrated by preload-adjusted maximal power being unaffected by acute increases in LV systolic pressure induced by aortic occlusion. ABD preload-adjusted maximal power reflected changes in contractile state: increasing with dobutamine infusion from 36+/-14 to 70+/-15 mW/cm4 (p < 0.05 vs. control) and decreasing with propranolol infusion from 35+/-13 to 17+/-7 mW/cm4 (p < 0.05 vs. control). These changes were significantly correlated with calculations of preload-adjusted maximal power using aortic flow (r = 0.90, SEE 10.5 mW/cm4) and load-independent measures of end-systolic elastance from pressure-area loops (r = 0.90, SEE 10.6 mW/cm4). Calculations of normalized preload-adjusted maximal power using arterial pressure were also closely correlated with similar calculations using LV pressure (r = 0.99, SEE 3%).
Conclusions: Preload-adjusted maximal power using echocardiographic ABD can predict LV contractile state relatively independent of loading conditions and has potential for clinical application.