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Adverse Cardiac Effects of Acute Alcohol Ingestion in Young Adults

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant support: in part by Training Grant 5 T32 HL07381 from the United States Public Health Service.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Kenneth M. Borow, M.D.; Director, Cardiac Noninvasive Imaging Laboratory, The University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, 950 East 59th Street, Box 44; Chicago, IL 60637.

Chicago, Illinois

© 1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(6):742-747. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-6-742
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Previous studies of the effects of acute alcohol ingestion in normal subjects have used measures of left ventricular performance that are altered by changes in preload and afterload and in contractile state. In studies involving nine healthy, young adults, we measured sensitive load-independent end-systolic indices of left ventricular contractility over a wide range of pressures generated by methoxamine infusion before and after oral alcohol administration. Echocardiography was used in conjunction with calibrated carotid pulse tracings. Alcohol ingestion resulted in a fall (p < 0.01) in left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (a measure of preload), end-systolic wall stress (a measure of afterload), and systemic vascular resistance, while not changing the left ventricular shortening fraction. In contrast, the end-systolic pressure-dimension slope decreased (p < 0.001) and the rate-corrected velocity of left ventricular fiber shortening at an end-systolic wall stress of 50 g/cm2 fell (p < 0.001). Thus, when load-independent assessment of left ventricular contractility is done, acute alcohol ingestion has a myocardial depressant effect greater than previously suspected.





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