Mechanisms for attenuated pressor responses to α-agonists in ovine pregnancy

Ronald R. Magness, Charles R. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Attenuated pressor responses to angiotensin II and α-agonists normally occur during ovine pregnancy; however, for α-agonists it is not known to what extent this reflects alterations in cardiac output. We therefore compared peripheral and cardiac responses to α-agonists in pregnant (n = 6) and nonpregnant (n = 6) sheep, measuring mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output before and during steady-state dose responses to norepinephrine (0.458 to 45.84 μg/min) and phenylephrine (1.29 to 129 μg/min). Both α-agonists caused dose-dependent increases in mean arterial pressure and systemic vascular resistance, more so in nonpregnant than pregnant sheep (p < 0.01), and decreases in cardiac output and heart rate (p < 0.01). In both nonpregnant and pregnant sheep the percent change in systemic vascular resistance generally exceeded the percent change in mean arterial pressure, reflecting decreases in cardiac output; however, at equivalent increases in percent change in mean arterial pressure and percent change in systemic vascular resistance, the fall in the percent change in cardiac output was greatest in pregnant sheep (p < 0.05). Also, at similar increases in mean arterial pressure the percent change in heart rate was greatest in pregnant sheep (p < 0.01). In contrast to angiotensin II, the attenuated pressor responses to α-agonists observed during ovine pregnancy are partly a result of reflex decreases in cardiac output mediated mainly through falls in heart rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-261
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume159
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1988

Keywords

  • Cardiac output
  • baroreflex
  • heart rate
  • pregnancy
  • sheep
  • systemic vascular resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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