Vascular pressure-volume relationships in pregnant and estrogen-treated guinea pigs

L. E. Davis, A. R. Hohimer, G. D. Giraud, M. S. Paul, M. J. Morton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We investigated the relationship between mean circulatory filling pressure (MCFP) and blood volume in nonpregnant (NP), estrogen-treated (E), and pregnant (P) guinea pigs. Reversible circulatory arrest was produced by rapid ventricular pacing or acetylcholine in unanesthetized animals remote from surgery. MCFP (mmHg) was higher for E (7.1 ± 0.3) than for NP (5.8 ± 0.5) or P (5.3 ± 0.4). The gradient for venous return, the difference between MCFP and right atrial pressure (mmHg), did not differ in NP-(6.0 ± 0.5), P- (5.8 ± 0.5), or E- (5.8 ± 0.4) treated animals. Capacitance, the blood volume (ml/kg) at an MCFP of 6 mmHg, was increased in P (84 ± 6) and E (89 ± 7), compared with NP (64 ± 5) animals. Compliance, the ratio of the change in volume to change in pressure in the range of 6-12 mmHg (ml · kg-1 · mmHg-1), was greater in P (4.4 ± 0.3) than NP (3.5 ± 0.3) animals. Hexamethonium blockade did not affect MCFP, capacitance, or compliance. We conclude that the effect of blood volume expansion on the circulation in pregnancy cannot be predicted from knowledge of MCFP-blood volume relationships in the nonpregnant animal, because capacitance and compliance are altered. Estrogen administration to nonpregnant animals reproduces some of these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26/5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989


  • capacitance
  • compliance
  • mean circulatory filling pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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