The effect of changing excitation frequency on parallel conductance in different sized hearts

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OBJECTIVE: An important component of the ventricular volume measured using the conductance catheter technique is due to parallel conductance (Vc), which results from the extension of the electric field beyond the ventricular blood pool. Parallel conductance volume is normally estimated using the saline dilution method (Vc(saline dilution)), in which the conductivity of blood in the ventricle is transiently increased by injection of hypertonic saline. A simpler alternative has been reported by Gawne et al. [12]. Vc(dual frequency) is estimated from the difference in total conductance measured at two exciting frequencies and the method is based on the assumption that parallel conductance is mainly capacitive and hence is negligible at low frequency. The objective of this study was to determine whether the dual frequency technique could be used to substitute the saline dilution method to estimate Vc in different sized hearts.

METHODS: The accuracy and linearity of a custom-built conductance catheter (CC) system was initially assessed in vitro. Subsequently, a CC and micromanometer were inserted into the left ventricle of seven 5 kg pigs (group 1) and six 50 kg pigs (group 2). Cardiac output was determined using thermodilution (group 1) and an ultrasonic flow probe (group 2) from which the slope coefficient (alpha) was determined. Steady state measurements and Vc estimated using saline dilution were performed at frequencies in the range of 5-40 kHz. All measurements were made at end-expiration. Finally, Vc was estimated from the change in end-systolic conductance between 5 kHz and 40 kHz using the dual frequency technique of Gawne et al. [12].

RESULTS: There was no change in measured volume of a simple insulated cylindrical model when the stimulating frequency was varied from 5-40 kHz. Vc(saline dilution) varied significantly with frequency in group 1 (8.63 +/- 2.74 ml at 5 kHz; 11.51 +/- 2.65 ml at 40 kHz) (p = 0.01). Similar results were obtained in group 2 (69.43 +/- 27.76 ml at 5 kHz; 101.24 +/- 15.21 ml at 40 kHz) (p < 0.001). However, the data indicate that the resistive component of the parallel conductance is substantial (Vc at 0 Hz estimated as 8.01 ml in group 1 and 62.3 ml in group 2). There was an increase in alpha with frequency in both groups but this did not reach significance. The correspondence between Vc(dual frequency) and Vc(saline dilution) methods was poor (group 1 R2 = 0.69; group 2 R2 = 0.22).

CONCLUSION: At a lower excitation frequency of 5 kHz a smaller percentage of the electric current extends beyond the blood pool so parallel conductance is reduced. While parallel conductance is frequency dependent, it has a substantial resistive component. The dual frequency method is based on the assumption that parallel conductance is negligible at low frequencies and this is clearly not the case. The results of this study confirm that the dual frequency technique cannot be used to substitute the saline dilution technique.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)668-75
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998

    Research areas

  • Animals, Animals, Newborn, Cardiac Catheterization, Cardiac Pacing, Artificial, Electric Impedance, Heart Ventricles/anatomy & histology, Swine, Ventricular Function

ID: 243521609