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Am J Physiol. 1991 Nov;261(5):H1499-507. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.1991.261.5.H1499.

Effects of beta-adrenergic agonists on splanchnic vascular volume and cardiac output.

The American journal of physiology

P I Chang, D L Rutlen


  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.

PMID: 1683172 DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.1991.261.5.H1499


The effect of beta-adrenergic agonists on splanchnic intravascular volume (SIV), measured with radionuclide imaging, and the subsequent influence of such volume changes on cardiac output (CO) were examined in 40 anesthetized dogs. Isoproterenol (6 micrograms/min) caused a decrease in total SIV of 12 +/- 1% (P less than 0.001). The decrease was due entirely to a decrease in splenic volume of 24 +/- 3% (P less than 0.001), since volume increased in the remainder of the splanchnic vasculature [hepatic and mesenteric volume increased 12 +/- 2% (P less than 0.001) and 11 +/- 3% (P less than 0.02), respectively]. CO increased from 1,724 +/- 187 to 3,138 +/- 321 ml/min (P less than 0.001); after subsequent splenectomy, isoproterenol caused a similar increment. Isoproterenol-associated SIV changes were not altered by carotid denervation and vagotomy or by beta 1-adrenergic inhibition with metoprolol but were abolished by nonselective beta-adrenergic inhibition with propranolol. With a larger dose of metoprolol and smaller dose of isoproterenol to minimize beta 1-adrenergic effects, the isoproterenol-associated CO increment was attenuated (P less than 0.01) by splenectomy. With the beta 2-agonist terbutaline (41 micrograms/min) after metoprolol, total SIV decreased 15 +/- 4% (P less than 0.001). After subsequent alpha-adrenergic inhibition with phenoxybenzamine, terbutaline caused no change in SIV and an attenuated (P less than 0.05) increase in CO. Thus beta-adrenergic agonist administration causes a decrease in total SIV due entirely to a decrease in splenic volume. The SIV decrement is dependent on beta 2- and alpha-adrenoceptor stimulation and appears to enhance CO only if beta 1-adrenergic effects are minimized.

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