Retrograde continuous warm blood cardioplegia: A new concept in myocardial protection

Tomas A. Salerno, James P. Houck, Carlos A.M. Barrozo, Anthony Panos, George T. Christakis, James G. Abel, Samuel V. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


This report presents the results in our first clinical series of patients receiving continuous warm blood cardioplegia through the coronary sinus. Warm oxygenated blood cardioplegia has certain theoretical advantages, such as continuously supplying oxygen and substrates to the arrested heart while avoiding the side effects of hypothermia. Retrograde infusion of cardioplegia also offers certain advantages (eg, in valve operations and in patients with severe coronary artery disease) that are complementary to warm blood cardioplegia. Retrograde warm blood cardioplegia was used in 113 consecutive patients (85 men and 28 women with a mean age of 61 years) undergoing various procedures. Three percent of the patients died, 7% needed transient intraaortic balloon pump support, 6% had evidence of perioperative myocardial infarction, and 96% had spontaneous return of rhythm. There were no coronary sinus injuries. This new technique of retrograde continuous warm blood cardioplegia is a simple, safe, and reliable method of myocardial protection that may change the way we currently protect the heart intraoperatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-247
Number of pages3
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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