Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the hemodynamic changes in left ventricular function before and after patent ductus arteriosus ligation in premature infants with regard to the energetic efficiency of left ventricular pumping. Methods: Thirty-five premature infants who underwent patent ductus arteriosus ligation were enrolled in this study. Left ventricular efficiency was evaluated at 4 points: within 24 hours before patent ductus arteriosus ligation, within 24 hours after patent ductus arteriosus ligation, between postoperative days 2 and 4, and on postoperative day 7. The indices of contractility (end-systolic elastance) and afterload (effective arterial elastance) were approximated on the basis of the systemic blood pressure and systolic or diastolic left ventricular volume. The ratio of stroke work and pressure-volume area, representing the ventricular efficiency, was estimated using the following theoretic formula: the ratio of stroke work and pressure-volume area = 1/(1 + 0.5 ventriculoarterial coupling). Results: Left ventricular efficiency was transiently deteriorated within 24 hours after patent ductus arteriosus ligation because of the marked increase of the afterload and the slight increase of contraction, and then recovered to preoperation levels by 2 to 4 days after patent ductus arteriosus ligation. Conclusions: Analysis of indices representing the afterload, contractility, and energetic efficiency of the left ventricle may provide practical information for the management of premature infants during the postoperative period after patent ductus arteriosus ligation.
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