In previous work from this laboratory we demonstrated that the coronary pressure-flow relationship exhibits a zero pressure intercept in the absence of the influence of the collateral circulation. In the present study we determined the effect of varying coronary sinus pressures on coronary perfusion. Specifically, we investigated whether coronary flow would cease when the coronary inflow pressure equaled the coronary sinus pressure. The study was performed while inflow perfusion pressure to all coronary vessels was changed simultaneously in order to reduce the influence of the collateral circulation while coronary sinus outflow was measured. Coronary pressure-flow relationships were obtained for coronary sinus pressures of 0, 10, and 20 mmHg. The results demonstrate a strong correlation between perfusion pressure and coronary sinus pressure (r2 = 0.994 +/- 0.001), which passed through the origin. We conclude that coronary sinus pressures between 0 and 20 mmHg have a direct influence on coronary perfusion.
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