Vascular reserve, which defines the capacity for further vasodilation in a given physiological or pathological condition, has not been measured in the canine atria. This study defines, in normal dogs, the regional vascular reserve simultaneously measured in the atria (appendage, nonappendage regions) and in the ventricles during rest and two levels of exercise. Blood flow was determined using 11.4 +/- 0.1 microns radiolabeled microspheres. Vascular reserve (percent for each region) is the ratio of vascular conductance during each condition to maximum vascular conductance. Maximum vascular conductance was estimated by infusing adenosine intravenously. For a given physiological condition regional vascular conductance varied two- to threefold. The vascular reserve of each of the regions decreased progressively from rest to mild exercise to moderate exercise. Regional vascular reserve for both atria, the right ventricle, and the epicardial layer of the left ventricle was essentially uniform for a given condition: rest 93 +/- 0.4%, mild exercise 81 +/- 1.2%, and moderate exercise 69 +/- 1.5%. This similarity in vascular reserve implies that for a given physiological condition a common mechanism precisely regulates myocardial perfusion in these cardiac regions as a function of the total vasodilator capacity.
- Copyright © 1995 the American Physiological Society