Upward shift of the lower range of coronary flow autoregulation in hypertensive patients with hypertrophy of the left ventricle

A. Polese, N. De Cesare, P. Montorsi, F. Fabbiocchi, M. Guazzi, A. Loaldi, M. D. Guazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At any given perfusion pressure, coronary reserve is expressed by the difference between autoregulated and maximally vasodilated flow. In hypertension the raised coronary resistance reduces the steepness of the pressure-flow relationship at maximal vasodilatation. In the presence of cardiac hypertrophy the line of autoregulated flow becomes higher. For these reasons coronary reserve is reduced and the point at which baseline flow approaches the maximal achievable flow might be shifted to a higher perfusion pressure. Thus, any reduction below this elevated and critical value of pressure would lower the coronary flow. The investigated patients were normotensive (controls, nine) and hypertensive with normal (group I, seven) or augmented LV mass index because of concentric LV hypertrophy (group II, eight). All had effort-induced angina and angiographically normal left epicardial branches. Flow in the great cardiac vein was measured by thermodilution in the baseline and during stepwise (5 mm Hg every 5 minutes) decrease of the coronary perfusion pressure with a titrated nitroprusside i.v. infusion; perfusion pressures of 60 mm Hg in the controls and 70 mm Hg in the hypertensives were taken as end points. Baseline flow averaged 102 ml/min in normotensives, 104 ml/min in hypertensive group I and 148 ml/min in hypertensive group II. At the end points flow was similar to baseline in the controls and group I. In group II coronary flow started to decline and myocardial O 2 extraction started to slightly but significantly rise at perfusion pressures of 90-80 mm Hg; at the end point flow was reduced by 26% (p <0.01 from baseline). The perfusion patterns did not seem to be related to the changes in tension-time index and heart rate. The association of high blood pressure (reduced ability of the coronary arterioles to dilate) and hypertrophy of the myocardium (augmented baseline coronary flow) may shift the point of exhaustion of coronary reserve to a higher perfusion pressure and make the myocardium vulnerable to treatment-induced relative hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-853
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • antihypertensive treatment
  • coronary oxygen extraction
  • coronary perfusion pressure
  • coronary reserve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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