Ultrastructural assessment of myocardial necrosis occurring during ischemia and 3-H reperfusion in the dog

Lewis C. Becker, Richmond W. Jeremy, Jutta Schaper, Wolfgang Schaper

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28 Scopus citations


To determine whether myocardial necrosis may occur during postischemic reperfusion, electron microscopy was used to identify morphological features of irreversible injury in myocardial samples taken from anesthetized dogs with 90-min ischemia and 0-, 5-, 90-, or 180-min reperfusion. In samples without detectable collateral blood flow, necrosis was almost complete, whether or not the myocardium was reperfused. In samples with collateral flow, necrosis was more frequent after 180-min reperfusion than in the absence of reperfusion, despite similar collateral flows in the two groups. Excess of necrosis after 180-min reperfusion was evident in endocardium (ischemia only: 4 of 13, 180-min reflow: 14 of 20; P = 0.03) and midwall (ischemia only: 9 of 25, 180-min reflow: 29 of 45; P = 0.02). Multiple logistic regression with variables of collateral flow and transmural position was used to determine risk of irreversible injury in 111 samples from ischemic myocardium without reperfusion (model predictive accuracy = 75%, P < 0.00001) and to predict risk of necrosis in myocardium reperfused for 180 min. Of 65 samples from endocardium and midwall with detectable collateral flow, the model predicted necrosis in 23 samples but necrosis was observed in 43 samples (P < 0.01). Reperfusion duration was a determinant of frequency of irreversible injury. Multiple logistic regression for 186 samples from myocardium reperfused for 5, 90, or 180 min showed that reperfusion duration was an independent predictor of irreversible injury (P = 0.0003) when collateral flow and transmural location were accounted for. These findings are consistent with the occurrence of necrosis during reperfusion in myocardium exposed to substantial, prolonged ischemia but with sufficient residual perfusion to avoid necrosis during the period of flow impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H243-H252
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 46-1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Blood flow
  • Cell death
  • Electron microscopy
  • Myocardium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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