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Sept 7, 1963

The `Contradictions' of Coronary Flow

JAMA. 1963;185(10):31-33. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060100007003

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Investigators have been at odds over the mechanics of blood flow regulation within the heart itself. Some have claimed that coronary vessels actively dilate and constrict in response to mechanical activity or metabolic demands of the heart muscle. Others have stated, however, that vessels remain stable over a wide range of perfusion pressures and during initial stages of experimental coronary artery constriction. In an attempt to "clarify these contradictions," Dr. Cecil E. Cross of St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank, Calif., told the Indiana University symposium on autoregulation that in hearts of anesthetized dogs "coronary resistance and vasomotor tonus remained stable during wide variations of cardiac performance, when coronary flow was regulated by changes of pressure and not by coronary vasomotion." This stability, he said, was apparently caused by counteracting mechanisms in the heart, ie, coronary vessels tended to constrict in response to increased coronary pressure, an effect which was offset

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