Whole body perfusion has been carried out by using several arteries for the inflow site, most often a femoral or subclavian artery. Use of a femoral artery for inflow results in retrograde flow through the aorta, while subclavian cannulation permits flow in the conventional direction except to the more proximal aortic arch outflow. The varying angle formed by aortic branches in leaving the aorta suggests the possibility that this angle is of importance in determining distribution of aortic outflow, and hence such distribution might be altered by changing direction of aortic flow. This study was designed to determine whether alteration in distribution to aortic outflow branches occurred on changing from antegrade to retrograde perfusion.
Under light intravenous sodium pentobarbital anesthesia, left thoracotomy was performed in nine mongrel dogs. Gravity drainage of the left atrium was carried out by inserting a large stainless steel cannula through the left atrial appendage.