Effect of potassium cardioplegia on myocardial ischemia and post arrest ventricular function

H. V. Schaff, R. Dombroff, J. T. Flaherty, B. H. Bulkley, G. M. Hutchins, R. A. Goldman, V. L. Gott

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33 Scopus citations


To assess the effects of moderate potassium cardioplegia (37 mEq/l KCl) on the severity of myocardial ischemia during arrest and on post arrest ventricular function, 32 isolated, isovolumic feline hearts were studied before, during and 1 hour after ischemic arrest. Normothermia (37°C) was maintained in 16 hearts, eight without KCl and eight with KCl. Hypothermia (27°C) was maintained in the remaining 16 hearts, eight with KCl and eight without KCl. Myocardial oxygen (PmO2) and carbon dioxide tensions (PmCO2) were measured by mass spectrometry. Maximum developed intraventricular pressure (max DP) and max dP/dt were used as indices of performance. Compared with normothermic or hypothermic arrest alone, the addition of potassium cardioplegia resulted in a significant reduction in the peak PmCO2 measured during the arrest period. Hypothermia alone resulted in morphologic evidence of improved myocardial preservation and a significant reduction in peak PmCO2 compared with normothermia. Post arrest ventricular function was best with the combination of hypothermic arrest and potassium cardioplegia (max DP = 96 ± 6% of control and max dP/dt = 99 ± 5% of control). These data suggest that the beneficial effects of potassium cardioplegia and 27° hypothermia are additive, and that reduction in myocardial ischemia as evidenced by a reduction in peak PmCO2 correlated with improvement in ventricular performance in the post arrest period and with preservation of myocardial structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-249
Number of pages10
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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