Matters of the heart: the physiology of cardiac function and failure

Smith, G. (2007) Matters of the heart: the physiology of cardiac function and failure. Experimental Physiology, 92(6), pp. 973-986. (doi:10.1113/expphysiol.2007.034314)

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Abstract

Heart failure as a result of a myocardial infarction (MI) is a common condition with a poor prognosis. The adaptive changes in the surviving myocardium appear to be insufficient in terms of both mechanical/contractile performance and electrical stability. The modification of the underlying myocardial physiology is complex, varying across the different layers within the wall of the ventricle and within one layer. Two therapeutic strategies are briefly discussed, as outlined here. (i) Enhancing contractility by alteration of the expression of a single protein (e.g. sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase, SERCA) could potentially reverse both mechanical and electrical abnormalities. However, experimental data involving the upregulation of SERCA suggest that the therapeutic range of this approach is narrow. (ii) The use of regular exercise training to improve cardiac performance in heart failure. This appears to act by normalizing a number of aspects of myocardial physiology.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Godfrey
Authors: Smith, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Experimental Physiology
ISSN:0958-0670

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