Author(s): Goertz AW, Hbner C, Seefelder C, Seeling W, Lindner KH,
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Abstract We investigated the effect of ephedrine on left ventricular function in patients without cardiovascular disease under high thoracic epidural anesthesia combined with general anesthesia. Because the epidural block was extended to all cardiac segments, ephedrine was assumed to be deprived of its centrally mediated actions. Left ventricular (LV) function was assessed using transesophageal echocardiography. We measured arterial pressure (AP), heart rate (HR), LV end-systolic and end-diastolic diameter and area (ESA, EDA), wall thickness, and LV ejection time before and after intravenous ephedrine bolus administration. We calculated area ejection fraction (EFA), end-systolic wall stress (ESWS), and mean velocity of circumferential fiber shortening (mVcfc). Ephedrine had a biphasic effect on left ventricular function. It transiently decreased EDA from 18.9 to 16.5 cm2 (mean), whereas EFA and mVcfc were increased from 33\% to 49\%, and from 1.88 to 2.67 circumferences/s, respectively. During the second phase, ephedrine increased mean arterial pressure (MAP) from a baseline value of 62 to 87 mm Hg, EDA was restored to 19.3 cm2, and EFA and mVcfc remained above baseline (52\% and 2.64 circumferences/s, respectively). ESWS was not significantly increased from baseline. We conclude that ephedrine improves left ventricular contractility, even in the presence of high thoracic epidural anesthesia, without causing relevant changes of left ventricular afterload.
This article was published in Anesth Analg
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research