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OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine whether endogenous estrogen deficiency induced by ovariectomy affects chronic left ventricular dysfunction post-myocardial infarction (MI). BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic findings suggest that mortality of postmenopausal women is increased after MI, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. METHODS: Rats were either not ovariectomized (non-OVX), ovariectomized (OVX) or ovariectomized and treated with subcutaneous 17-beta-estradiol (E2) pellets (OVX + E2). Two weeks later, animals were sham-operated (Sham) or left coronary artery ligated (MI). Eight weeks later, in vivo echocardiographic and hemodynamic measurements were performed. Thereafter, hearts were isolated and perfused isovolumically. RESULTS: Mean infarct size was similar among the three MI groups. Ovariectomy decreased serum E2 levels (11 +/- 4 vs. 49 +/- 11 pg/ml in non-OVX, p < 0.01) and increased body weight. These changes were reversed by E2 replacement. The degree of cardiac hypertrophy was similar for all groups post-MI. Left ventricular diameters were increased post-MI (8.9 +/- 0.4 in non-OVX + MI vs. 6.7 +/- 0.2 mm in non-OVX + Sham hearts, p < 0.0001), but OVX or OVX + E2 replacement did not alter left ventricular diameters in post-MI and Sham hearts. Left ventricular fractional shortening was severely impaired post-MI (19 +/- 2% vs. 50 +/- 3 in non-OVX + Sham hearts, p < 0.0001) with no influence of hormonal status. Left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, measured in vivo, was increased in all MI groups without significant differences between groups. Pressure-volume curves, obtained in perfused hearts, demonstrated a right and downward shift with reduced maximum left ventricular developed pressure post-MI (75 +/- 6 vs. 108 +/- 3 mm Hg in non-OVX + Sham hearts, p < 0.001) and were also unaffected by either OVX or E2 replacement. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic endogenous estrogen deficiency does not have major effects on the development of cardiac hypertrophy, dysfunction and dilation post-MI.


Journal article


J Am Coll Cardiol

Publication Date





1427 - 1434


Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Echocardiography, Doppler, Estrogens, Evaluation Studies as Topic, Female, Hemodynamics, Myocardial Infarction, Random Allocation, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Ventricular Remodeling