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Cardiac Work Demands and Left Ventricular Function in End-Stage Renal Disease

JOHN P. CAPELLI, M.D.; and HRATCH KASPARIAN, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to John P. Capelli, M.D.; Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, 1600 Hadden Avenue; Camden, NJ 08103.


Camden, New Jersey


Ann Intern Med. 1977;86(3):261-267. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-86-3-261
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Cardiac hemodynamics were assessed by right and left heart catheterizations in nine patients on hemodialysis. Results showed increased stroke work index and left ventricular work indices. Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was elevated in all patients (markedly so in five) and did not fall with occlusion of arteriovenous communications. Cardiac output was significantly elevated, but fell to normal postocclusion. Myocardial oxygen consumption, indirectly assessed by tension time and pressure rate indices, appeared increased. Six patients died: four from complications attributed to myocardial failure without infarction, one from transplant-related complications, and one from bacterial meningitis. Five had increased cardiac weights at autopsy, but none showed infarction. This study suggests that increased cardiac work is present in chronic renal failure. Myocardial mass increases result in increased myocardial oxygen demand; however, the increased oxygen requirements may not be met because of reduced erythrocyte mass. Persistance of pressure-volume overload and severe anemia are conducive to myocardial failure.

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