Chronic infarction decreases maximum cardiac work and sensitivity of heart to extracellular calcium.Am J Physiol. 1985 Jul; 249(1 Pt 2):H80-7.AJ
Rat hearts were infarcted in vivo by ligation of the left ventricular coronary artery to cause an initial 40% loss of viable tissue by weight. Due to compensatory hypertrophy of the surviving myocardium and progression of the infarct to scar tissue, the infarct represented approximately 25% by weight of the whole heart after 1 wk. After 1 or 3 wk, these infarcted hearts were removed and perfused in vitro by the working hearts technique. Ventricular pressure development and positive dP/dt were lower in infarcted hearts compared with sham-operated ones. O2 consumption and glucose utilization by viable tissue per unit pressure development was the same in normal and infarcted hearts. Levels of creatine phosphate and free creatine were decreased, but ATP and total adenine nucleotides were well maintained. The inotropic response to decreases in extracellular [Ca2+] was much greater in infarcted hearts than in sham controls. Prenalterol increased ventricular function proportionally more in infarcted than in the sham-operated hearts, suggesting that down regulation of beta receptors was not a problem. The infarcted hearts were much more sensitive to verapamil than control hearts. It is concluded that the depressed function of the noninfarcted tissue of chronically infarcted hearts is due in part to loss of functioning tissue mass and in part to decreased sensitivity to extracellular Ca2+.