Selective denervation of the heart

W. C. Randall, J. X. Thomas, M. J. Barber, L. E. Rinkema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Total denervation of the canine heart consisted of intrapericardial neural dissection of the left atrium, left superior pulmonary vein, and main pulmonary artery and cutting of the ventrolateral cardiac nerve (stage I). The fat pad and all the nerves were removed from between the pulmonary artery and aorta (stage II). Dissection proceeded from the pericardial reflection along the superior vena cava to the azygos vein, which was cleared, double tied, and cut. The right pulmonary artery was cleaned, and the superior right atrium was dissected to its intersection with the left atrium (stage III). Denervation was tested by electrical stimulation of both vagi and stellate ganglia, while recording inotropic, chronotropic, and dromotropic events, before and after each stage. Stage I deleted most left autonomic input to the heart without interrupting right sympathetics. Stage II completed left autonomic denervation but preserved much of the right sympathetic input. Large nerves along the dorsal surface of the pulmonary artery carried inputs from both left and right sympathetics. Stage III completed the denervation of atrioventricular and sinoatrial nodal structures and removed all remaining ventricular inotropic influences. Selective denervation of atrioventricular and sinoatrial nodal regions appears feasible for preparation of chronic canine models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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