Relative vulnerability of neonatal and adult hearts to ischemic injury

C. Wittnich, C. Peniston, D. Ianuzzo, J. G. Abel, T. A. Salerno

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63 Scopus citations


To clarify the controversy over whether the neonatal heart is more or less susceptible to global ischemia than the adult heart, the time interval between the onset of ischemia and the beginning of contracture (TIC) was compared in neonatal (n = 6, 3 to 5 days old) and adult (n = 6, 4 to 5 months old) pig hearts. A comparison of the myocardial concentrations (μmol/g wet weight) of ATP, glycogen, lactate, and glucose-6-phosphate (G-6-P) was also done. The anesthetized animals underwent a sternotomy, and control right ventricular myocardial biopsy samples were taken. The heart of each was rapidly excised and placed in a 37°C substrate-free Krebs-Henseleit bath. A compliant balloon was placed in the left ventricle to record pressure changes. Time to onset and peak TIC were recorded and additional proximal right ventricular biopsy samples were taken. Data were recorded as mean ± SEM. Results demonstrated that neonatal hearts had a significantly shorter (p<.05) TIC (29.5 ± 1.7 min) than adult heart (43.0 ± 2.9 min) and exhibited more rapid lactate accumulation (2.5 ± 0.5 to 22.1 ± 3.0, p<.001) and an increase in G-6-P (0.07 ± 0.03 to 0.34 ± 0.07, p<.01) with a nonsignificant decline in myocardial glycogen (23.3 ± 12.1 to 17.4 ± 4.0, p>.05). Our findings indicate that neonatal hearts are more sensitive than adult hearts to global ischemia, which has potential implications for myocardial protection in pediatric cardiac surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
Issue number5 II SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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