Atrial electrical and mechanical activity persists during cardioplegic arrest. It has been postulated that atrial ischemia may occur and cause deterioration in atrial function. This study was designed to assess the effect of cardioplegic arrest on right atrial function. Twenty-one pigs were placed on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), and the right atrium was isolated from the circulation by snaring both venae cavae and incising the coronary sinus. The tricuspid valve was closed through a small right ventriculotomy, and baseline atrial function was assessed using a compliant balloon in the atrium. Fourteen pigs underwent one hour of cardioplegic arrest (7 with cardioplegia alone [CCA group] and 7 with the addition of topical hypothermia [CCA + TH group]) followed by one hour of normothermic reperfusion. Seven other pigs were placed on CPB for the same period of time (CPB group). Atrial electrical and mechanical activity persisted at 45 beats per minute in the CCA group but was virtually abolished in the CCA + TH group. Cardioplegic arrest caused considerable deterioration in right atrial function (developed pressure, 18.9 ± 0.8 [baseline] versus 14.1 ± 0.7 mm Hg; p<0.05; first derivative of atrial pressure [dP/dt], 187 ± 19 versus 134 ± 25 mm Hg per second; p<0.05; 60 minutes of reperfusion and balloon volume of 20 ml). It was not affected by topical cooling. Right atrial developed pressure was maintained, but dP/dt was significantly reduced in the CPB group. This study suggests that cardioplegic arrest does not protect the atrium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine