It has been clearly shown, both in a laboratory model and in humans, that oxygenation of crystalloid cardioplegic solutions markedly enhances myocardial preservation. The addition of a small volume of red cells to a crystalloid perfusate improves capillary perfusion. Based on these results, we have changed our cardioplegic solution from cold crystalloid to cold oxygenated dilute blood. In the present study we retrospectively evaluate the results of 400 operative procedures to determine whether the addition of oxygenation and a small volume of blood to the cardioplegic solution enhances myocardial protection in the clinical setting. Two hundred consecutive patients who underwent operation with cardioplegic arrest using a cold crystalloid cardioplegic solution (group 1) were compared with a subsequent 200 patients who underwent operation with cold oxygenated dilute blood cardioplegia (group 2). Patients in group 2, who received cold oxygenated dilute blood cardioplegia, had a significantly reduced need for postoperative intraaortic balloon pump counterpulsation and for atrioventricular pacing. Also, patients in group 2 had a lower incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction and had improved early outcome. None of the 200 patients in group 2 had electrocardiographic evidence of perioperative infarction. We conclude that cold oxygenated dilute blood cardioplegia provides better preservation than does a nonoxygenated crystalloid solution during elective ischemic arrest, because a cold crystalloid solution is able to deliver oxygen and the red cells are able to enhance capillary perfusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine