Timothy I. Musch
PhD (Exercise Physiology), University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1981
Phone (785) 532-4523
Congestive heart failure (CHF) affects approximately 500,000 individuals per year making it the #2 disability in the elderly. The hallmark of this disease is the inability of the afflicted individuals to perform exercise. The factors that contribute to exercise intolerance are poorly understood. Although left ventricular (LV) pump dysfunction contributes greatly to exercise intolerance found in these individuals, other factors independent of LV pump function play significant roles including skeletal muscle blood flow abnormalities along with intrinsic pertubations in skeletal muscle excitation-contraction coupling and metabolism.
In my laboratory, CHF is experimentally induced in rats by surgically ligating the left main coronary artery to induce a very large myocardial infarction. This animal model of CHF is then used to examine the mechanisms contributing the skeletal muscle blood flow abnormalities and the intrinsic pertubations found in the skeletal muscle that accompany this syndrome. Various types of experiments, ranging from treadmill running studies to examination of the responses of isolated single blood vessels to various drugs, are used to deduce how CHF affects blood vessel and skeletal muscle function.