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Frank-Starling Relationship Long on Importance, Short on Mechanism
 

Summary: Frank-Starling Relationship
Long on Importance, Short on Mechanism
Richard L. Moss, Daniel P. Fitzsimons
T
he Frank-Starling relationship is an intrinsic property
of myocardium by which increased length (or ventric-
ular volume) results in enhanced performance during
the subsequent contraction.13 This relationship appears to be
very important in cardiac function because increased venous
return and the corresponding increase in end-diastolic volume
result in greater stroke volume during the next beat. The
ventricles can thus accommodate increased venous return by
means of a more vigorous contraction that ejects the greater
volume of blood from the heart.
Although the physiological significance of the Frank-
Starling relationship is widely appreciated, its cellular basis is
not well understood. One hypothesis is that more cross-
bridges interact with actin at longer sarcomere lengths due to
length-dependent reductions in lateral spacing between thick
and thin filaments,35 ie, due to closer proximity to actin more

  

Source: Akabas, Myles - Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine