Intracellular Ca2+ release and reuptake are essential for contraction and relaxation of normal heart muscle. Intracellular Ca2+ transients were recorded with aequorin during isometric contraction of myocardium from patients with end-stage heart failure. In contrast to controls, contractions and Ca2+ transients of muscles from failing hearts were markedly prolonged, and the Ca2+ transients exhibited 2 distinct components. Muscles from failing hearts showed a diminished capacity to restore low resting Ca2+ levels during diastole. These experiments provide the first direct evidence from actively contracting human myocardium that intracellular Ca2+ handling is abnormal and may cause systolic and diastolic dysfunction in heart failure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine