[en] OBJECTIVE: We tested the hypothesis that right heart failure during endotoxin shock may result from altered ventriculovascular coupling responsible for impeding power transfer to the pulmonary circulation. METHODS: The changes in vascular pulmonary input impedance and right ventricular contractility produced by low-dose endotoxin infusion were studied in 6 intact anesthetized dogs. RESULTS: Endotoxin insult resulted in pulmonary hypertension (from 22 +/- 2 to 33 +/- 3 mmHg) associated with significant decreases in stroke volume (from 26.9 +/- 4 to 20.2 +/- 3 ml) and right ventricular ejection fraction (from 41 +/- 3 to 32 +/- 2%). The first minimum of input impedance spectrum and zero phase were shifted towards higher frequencies. Input resistance and characteristic resistance were dramatically increased. The latter change contributed to a significant increase in the pulsatile component of total right ventricular power output from 13 to 21%, indicating a reduction in the hydraulic right ventricle power output delivered into the main pulmonary artery. Overall changes in input pulmonary impedance were indicative of increased afterload facing the right ventricle leading to depressed performance. In contrast, right ventricular systolic elastance was simultaneously increased from 0.56 to 0.93 mmHg/ml indicating an increase in right heart contractility. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that pulmonary hypertension in the setting of experimental endotoxin shock is accompanied by deleterious changes in the pulmonary impedance spectrum, which are responsible for a mismatch of increased contractile state of the right ventricle to the varying hydraulic load ultimately leading to ventricular-vascular uncoupling.