Increased endothelin in experimental heart failure

Kenneth B. Margulies, Fredric L. Hildebrand, Amir Lerman, Mark A. Perrella, John C. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


Recent studies demonstrate that endothelin, a potent endogenous vasoconstrictor peptide, circulates in plasma of normal animals and humans. However, the role of this peptide in pathophysiological states remains unclear. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that circulating endothelin concentrations are increased in experimental congestive heart failure (CHF), a pathophysiological state characterized by activation of vasoconstrictor mechanisms. In anesthetized dogs with CHF produced by 8 days of rapid ventricular pacing (n=28), circulating plasma endothelin was increased compared with values for normal controls (n=28; 20.4±1.4 versus 9.7±0.9 pg/ml, respectively; p<0.0001). A plasma endothelin level of more than 14.0 was a sensitive and specific indicator of significant CHF. Moreover, within the group with experimental CHF, right atrial pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure correlated independently with circulating endothelin levels. Based on recent studies demonstrating the physiological actions of twofold increases in circulating endothelin, as observed in the present study, a possible role for endothelin in the pathophysiology of CHF is advanced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2226-2230
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990


  • Cardiac filling pressures
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Vasoconstrictor peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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