Background. Hypoxia and warm ischemia produce severe injury to cardiac grafts harvested from non-heartbeating donors. To potentially improve recovery of such grafts, we studied the effects of intravenous phenylephrine preconditioning. Methods. Thirty-seven blood-perfused rabbit hearts were studied. Three groups of non-heart-beating donors underwent intravenous treatment with phenylephrine at 12.5 (n = 8), 25 (n = 7), or 50 μg/kg (n = 7) before initiation of apnea. Non-heart-beating controls (n = 8) received saline vehicle. Hypoxic cardiac arrest occurred after 6 to 12 minutes of apnea, followed by 20 minutes of warm in vivo ischemia. A 45-minute period of ex vivo reperfusion ensued. Nonischemic controls (n = 7) were perfused without antecedent hypoxia or ischemia. Results. Phenylephrine 25 μg/kg significantly delayed the onset of hypoxic cardiac arrest compared with saline controls (9.6 ± 0.5 versus 7.7 ± 0.4 minutes; p = 0.00001) yet improved recovery of left ventricular developed pressure compared with saline controls (57.1 ± 5.3 versus 41.0 ± 3.4 mm Hg; p = 0.04). Phenylephrine 25 μg/kg also yielded a trend toward less myocardial edema than saline vehicle (p = 0.09). Conclusions. Functional recovery of nonbeating cardiac grafts is improved by preconditioning. We provide evidence that the myocardium can be preconditioned with phenylephrine against hypoxic cardiac arrest.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine