Objective: This study was done to determine whether retrograde delivery of cardioplegic solution provides uniform blood flow to the myocardium supplied by an occluded coronary artery and whether it maintains myocardial energy levels beyond the coronary occlusion. Methods: Isolated pig hearts were used. A hydraulic occluder was placed at the origin of the left anterior descending coronary artery. The perfusion pressure for retrograde delivery of cardioplegic solution was controlled at 40 to 50 mm Hg. Magnetic resonance imaging and localized 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy were used to assess myocardial perfusion and energy metabolism, respectively. Results: Magnetic resonance perfusion images (n = 7) showed that the perfusion defect that occurred during antegrade delivery of cardioplegic solution (as a result of the occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery) resolved during retrograde delivery of cardioplegic solution. Retrograde perfusion delivered similar amounts of flow to the jeopardized myocardium as it did to other areas of the myocardium. However, the distribution of cardioplegic solution by the retrograde route was heterogeneous (cloudlike) across both ventricular walls. 31P magnetic resonance spectra showed that the ischemic changes induced by occlusion of the left anterior descending artery during antegrade perfusion were greatly alleviated by retrograde perfusion; however, it took longer for retrograde cardioplegia (n = 7, 17.08 minutes) to restore the levels of inorganic phosphate/phosphocreatine relative to the effect of releasing the left anterior descending artery occluder during antegrade delivery of cardioplegic solution (n = 7, 5.3 minutes). Conclusions: First, retrograde delivery of cardioplegic solution provides sufficient flow to the myocardium beyond a coronary occlusion to maintain near normal levels of energy metabolites, and second, the efficacy of the retrograde route of cardioplegic solution delivery (in terms of distribution of the solution and rate of myocardial energy recovery) is significantly lower than that of the antegrade route.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine