Myocardial dysfunction in sepsis may be associated with changes in left ventricular (LV) size. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of myocardial dysfunction and changes in LV diameter on hemodynamics and survival in a murine model of sepsis.
C57Bl/6 mice (N = 30) were used. Septic mice (n = 24) had cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) followed by fluid and antibiotic resuscitation and control mice (n = 6) received sham ligation. Echocardiography with a 30-mHz probe was performed at baseline and at frequent predefined time points after CLP. Stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), LV internal diameter in diastole (LVIDd), and fractional shortening (FS) were measured. LV dilation was prospectively defined as an increase in LVIDd ≥ 5% from baseline values. Septic animals were classified as dilators or nondilators.
Among septic animals, 37% were dilators and 63% were nondilators. After CLP, SV and CO decreased early in both groups. With resuscitation, SV and CO improved to a greater extent in dilators than nondilators (for SV, 46.0 ± 8.2 vs 36.1 ± 12.7 μL at 24 h, P = .05; for CO, 20.4 ± 4.8 vs 14.8 ± 6.7 mL/min, P = .04). Survival at 72 h was significantly improved in dilators compared with nondilators (88% vs 40%, P = .01).
In a clinically relevant murine model of sepsis, animals with LV dilation had better cardiovascular performance and increased survival. Our results suggest that LV dilation is associated with improved SV and CO, a pattern resulting in greatly improved survival. These studies highlight the importance of diastolic function in septic shock.