Comparative assessment of right ventricular performance from the pressure-volume relationship in double-muscled and conventional calves.
41 and 55 records of right-sided and systemic arterial pressures, cardiac output, and end-diastolic and end-systolic right ventricular volumes were collected from a group of 6 conventional and 6 double-muscled calves, respectively. In each group, the mean right ventricular pressure-volume loop was constructed. Global cardiac performance was significantly lower in the double-muscled than in the conventional calves. The right ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes, as well as the diastolic portion of the mean pressure-volume loop, were similar in the 2 groups. The results suggest that the reduced cardiac performance of double-muscled calves is not due to a lowered ventricular preload and that diastolic properties of their myocardium are similar to those of conventional calves. When expressed on a body weight basis, however, the right ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes were lower in the double-muscled than in conventional calves. When expressed as a function of probable metabolic demand, the volumetric capacity of the cardiac pump appears to be reduced in double-muscled calves. The significantly lower right ventricular ejection fraction, maximum rate of ventricular pressure rise and right ventricular peak-systolic pressure to end-systolic volume ratio measured in double-muscled as compared with conventional calves suggest that reduced myocardial contractility may also be partly responsible for the significantly lower stroke index of the former calves.