White matter protection in congenital heart surgery

Nobuyuki Ishibashi, Joseph Scafidi, Akira Murata, Ludmila Korotcova, David Zurakowski, Vittorio Gallo, Richard A. Jonas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Neurodevelopmental delays in motor skills and white matter (WM) injury have been documented in congenital heart disease and after pediatric cardiac surgery. The lack of a suitable animal model has hampered our understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying WM injury in these patients. Our aim is to identify an optimal surgical strategy for WM protection to reduce neurological injury in congenital heart disease patients. Methods and Results: We developed a porcine cardiopulmonary bypass model that displays area-dependent WM maturation. In this model,WMinjury was identified after cardiopulmonary bypass-induced ischemia-reperfusion injury. The degree of injury was inversely correlated with the maturation stage, which indicates maturation-dependent vulnerability of WM. Within different oligodendrocyte developmental stages, we show selective vulnerability of O4+ preoligodendrocytes, whereas oligodendrocyte progenitor cells were resistant to insults. This indicates that immature WM is vulnerable to cardiopulmonary bypass-induced injury but has an intrinsic potential for recovery mediated by endogenous oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cell number decreased with age, which suggests that earlier repair allows successful WM development. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cell proliferation was observed within a few days after cardiopulmonary bypass-induced ischemia-reperfusion injury; however, by 4 weeks, arrested oligodendrocyte maturation and delayed myelination were detected. Logistic model confirmed that maintenance of higher oxygenation and reduction of inflammation were effective in minimizing the risk of injury at immature stages of WM development. Conclusions: Primary repair in neonates and young infants potentially provides successful WM development in congenital heart disease patients. Cardiac surgery during this susceptible period should avoid ischemia-reperfusion injury and minimize inflammation to prevent long-term WM-related neurological impairment. (Circulation. 2012; 125:859-871.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-871
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 21 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Surgery
  • White matter injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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