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Panminerva Medica 2005 June;47(2):69-73

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Preconditioning and the human heart

Rezkalla S. H. 1, Kloner R. A. 2

1 Department of Cardiology Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI, USA 2 Heart Institute, Good Samaritan Hospital Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA


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Brief episodes of ischemia prior to coronary occlusion protect the heart during sustained coronary ischemia and is known as ischemic preconditioning. During acute myocardial infarction it is associated with smaller infarction size, less cardiac arrhythmias, and better left ventricular function. Brief balloon inflation in the cardiac catheterization laboratory during coronary intervention enables the operator to have further prolonged balloon inflations with lesser degrees of ischemia. Brief ischemia prior to coronary bypass surgery results in smaller perioperative infarctions and lesser degrees of postoperative arrhythmias. Preconditioning mimetic drugs may have a promising future in simulating ischemic preconditioning.

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