First Advisor

Larry I. Crawshaw

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology






Hemodynamics, Pregnancy -- Physiological aspects, Heart -- Size



Physical Description

1 online resource (41 p.)


Cardiac output Increases by 30-50% during mammal Ian pregnancy. This Increase Is reflected by elevation In both heart rate and stroke volume. The primary mechanism of Increased stroke volume appears to be cardiac enlargement, rather than increased preload, afterload, or contractility. Animal studies have shown that enlargement of the heart occurs prior to an Increase In uterine blood flow during pregnancy and this type of enlargement can be mimicked by sex steroid administration.

Systemic vascular resistance greatly decreases during pregnancy and with sex steroid administration. It has been postulated that systemic vascular resistance may be a signal for heart size changes. This study attempted to chronically decrease systemic vascular resistance by administration of an arterial vasodllator (hydralazlne) over a three week period to guinea pigs. At the time of study hemodynamlcs were measured which Included, heart rate, arterial pressure, right atrial pressure and cardiac output. In vitro left ventricular pressure volume relationships were also evaluated, as was total plasma volume.


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