In the intact circulation, mean systemic filling pressure (Psf) is determined by applying a series of inspiratory pause procedures (IPPs) and using Guyton's equation of venous return (Qv) and central venous pressure (Pcv): Qv = a - b x Pcv. During an IPP series, different tidal volumes are applied to set Pcv at different values. From the linear regression between Qv and Pcv, Psf can be calculated as Psf = a/b. Guyton's equation can also be written as Qv = (Psf - Pcv)/Rsd, where Rsd is the flow resistance downstream of the places where blood pressure is equal to Psf. During an IPP, a steady state is observed. Therefore, we can also formulate the following equation for flow: Qs = (Pao - Psf)/Rsu, where Qs is systemic flow, Rsu is the systemic flow resistance upstream to Psf, and Pao is aortic pressure. Because both flows (Qs and Qv) are equal, it follows that Pao = Psf(1 + Rsu/Rsd) - Rsu/Rsd x Pcv. This equation implies a method to determine mean systemic filling pressure on the basis of Pao measurements instead of flow determinations. Using 22 IPPs in 10 piglets, we determined the mean systemic filling pressure, and we compared the values obtained from the flow curves with those obtained from the aortic pressure curves. The mean difference between the two methods was 0.03 +/- 1.16 mmHg. With the use of Pao measurements, the Psf can be estimated as accurately as in using flow determinations. The advantage of the new method is that estimation of cardiac output is not required.
- Copyright © 1994 the American Physiological Society