Absence of lethal reperfusion injury after 3 hours of reperfusion: A study in a single-canine-heart model of ischemia-reperfusion

Doron Zahger, Juliana Yano, Aurelio Chaux, Michael C. Fishbein, William Ganz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Whether reperfusion can cause necrosis of previously viable myocytes (lethal reperfusion injury) remains controversial. Numerous studies examined the ability of various agents to prevent or limit reperfusion injury, but the results were contradictory. In a single-canine-heart model of ischemia-reperfusion, we previously demonstrated that 5 minutes of reperfusion does not increase the transmural extent of necrosis. Since the 5- minute period of reperfusion is considered by some to be too short for the full manifestation of reperfusion injury, we reexamined the issue of lethal reperfusion injury using a modification of the single-heart model of ischemia-reperfusion that allowed extending the reperfusion period to 3 hours. Methods and Results: In anesthetized, open-chest dogs, the distal half of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) segment between the last diagonal branch and the apex was perfused via a shunt from the left carotid artery. The shunt was closed for periods of 90 to 180 minutes, depending on the ECG severity of ischemia, and reperfused for 3 hours. While the distal region was perfused from the carotid artery, the LAD was occluded proximal to the last diagonal branch for the same period of time as the distal region had been earlier. The time of occlusion was chosen such that the end of the occlusion period coincided with the end of the experiment. Thus, both regions of the LAD territory were subjected to identical periods of ischemia, but only the distal region was reperfused. At the end of the experiment, the boundary between the proximal (nonreperfused) and distal (reperfused) area was delineated by blue dye, and the heart was arrested, cut into slices 1 cm thick parallel to the LAD, and placed in triphenyltetrazolium chloride. The epicardial edges of necrosis in the reperfused and the nonreperfused regions were examined for any shift that might suggest a difference in the transmurality of necrosis. The areas of necrotic and viable myocardium were measured by planimetry within 1 cm on either side of the boundary. In all 14 dogs, the epicardial edges of necrosis ran as a single line across the boundary, and no shift was present. There was also no difference in the transmurality of necrosis between the reperfused and nonreperfused regions (64.9±20.7% versus 66.1±17.0% of left ventricular wall thickness, respectively; P=.32 by paired t test). Conclusions: In a single-canine-heart model of ischemia-reperfusion, there was no evidence of lethal reperfusion injury after 3 hours of reperfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2989-2994
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • ischemia
  • myocardial infarction
  • reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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