Open Access Research article

Arterial dP/dtmax accurately reflects left ventricular contractility during shock when adequate vascular filling is achieved

Philippe Morimont1*, Bernard Lambermont1, Thomas Desaive2, Nathalie Janssen3, Geoffrey Chase4 and Vincent D'Orio3

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Liège, Liège, Belgium

2 Faculty of Sciences, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

3 Emergency Department, University Hospital of Liège, Liège, Belgium

4 Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2012, 12:13  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-13

Published: 1 March 2012



Peak first derivative of femoral artery pressure (arterial dP/dtmax) derived from fluid-filled catheter remains questionable to assess left ventricular (LV) contractility during shock. The aim of this study was to test if arterial dP/dtmax is reliable for assessing LV contractility during various hemodynamic conditions such as endotoxin-induced shock and catecholamine infusion.


Ventricular pressure-volume data obtained with a conductance catheter and invasive arterial pressure obtained with a fluid-filled catheter were continuously recorded in 6 anaesthetized and mechanically ventilated pigs. After a stabilization period, endotoxin was infused to induce shock. Catecholamines were transiently administrated during shock. Arterial dP/dtmax was compared to end-systolic elastance (Ees), the gold standard method for assessing LV contractility.


Endotoxin-induced shock and catecholamine infusion lead to significant variations in LV contractility. Overall, significant correlation (r = 0.51; p < 0.001) but low agreement between the two methods were observed. However, a far better correlation with a good agreement were observed when positive-pressure ventilation induced an arterial pulse pressure variation (PPV) ≤ 11% (r = 0.77; p < 0.001).


While arterial dP/dtmax and Ees were significantly correlated during various hemodynamic conditions, arterial dP/dtmax was more accurate for assessing LV contractility when adequate vascular filling, defined as PPV ≤ 11%, was achieved.

Left ventricular function; Aortic pressure; Septic cardiomyopathy; Preload responsiveness; Endotoxin-induced shock