International journal of experimental pathology

Acute aortocaval fistula: role of low perfusion pressure and subendocardial remodeling on left ventricular function.

PMID 23593971


The experimental model of aortocaval fistula is a useful model of cardiac hypertrophy in response to volume overload. In the present study it has been used to investigate the pathologic subendocardial remodeling associated with the development of heart failure during the early phases (day 1, 3, and 7) following volume overload. Compared with sham treated rats, aortocaval fistula rats showed lower systemic blood pressure and higher left ventricular end-diastolic pressure This resulted in lower coronary driving pressure and left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Signs of myocyte necrosis, leukocyte cell infiltration, fibroplasia and collagen deposition appeared sequentially in the subendocardium where remodeling was more prominent than in the non-subendocardium. Accordingly, increased levels of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, and IL-6, and enhanced MMP-2 activity were all found in the subendocardium of rats with coronary driving pressure ≤ 60 mmHg. The coronary driving pressure was inversely correlated with MMP-2 activity in subendocardium in all time-points studied, and blood flow in this region showed positive correlation with systolic and diastolic function at day 7. Thus the predominant subendocardial remodeling that occurs in response to low myocardial perfusion pressure during the acute phases of aortocaval fistula contributes to early left ventricular dysfunction.