Effects of calcium and EMD-53998 on oxygen consumption in isolated canine hearts

Pieter P. De Tombe, Daniel Burkhoff, William C. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background. Most positive inotropic agents increase cardiac contractility by increasing the amount of Ca2+ cycled with each beat. The additional amount of oxygen that is consumed by the heart to cycle this additional Ca2+ is believed to reduce myocardial efficiency. On the other hand, it has been suggested that the agent EMD-53998 increases the Ca2+ sensitivity of the contractile proteins without affecting the intracellular Ca2+ transient in cardiac muscle. Therefore, application of this agent may increase cardiac contractility without decreasing myocardial efficiency. The purpose of the present study was to test this hypothesis. Methods and Results. We measured myocardial oxygen consumption (MVo2) in six isolated, isovolumically beating blood-perfused canine hearts. The hearts were paced at 120 beats per minute. Contractility was varied in each heart by infusion of either CaCl2 or EMD-53998. With infusion of either agent, MVo2 was a linearly proportional function of contractility. No significant difference between CaCl2 and EMD-53998 could be detected in the interrelation between contractility and MVo2. Conclusions. We conclude that the "calcium-sensitizing agent" EMD-53998 is a potent positive inotropic agent in the isolated, blood-perfused canine heart. However, EMD-53998 does not provide an energetic advantage over currently used positive inotropic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1945-1954
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Calcium
  • Inotropic agents
  • Myocardial oxygen consumption
  • Myocardium


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