Consequences of Brief Ischemia: Stunning, Preconditioning, and Their Clinical Implications: Part 2

R. A. Kloner, R. B. Jennings
2001 Circulation  
In experimental studies in the dog, total proximal coronary artery occlusions of up to 15 minutes result in reversible injury, meaning that the myocytes survive this insult. The 15 minutes of ischemia, however, induce numerous changes in the myocardium, including certain monuments to the brief episode of ischemia that may persist for days. One of these monuments is stunned myocardium, which represents "prolonged postischemic contractile dysfunction of myocardium salvaged by reperfusion." The
more » ... hanism of stunning involves generation of oxygen radicals as well as alteration in calcium homeostasis and possibly alteration in contractile protein structure. Stunning has been observed in several clinical scenarios, including after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, unstable angina, stressinduced ischemia, after thrombolysis, and after cardiopulmonary bypass. Oxygen radical scavengers and calcium channel blockers have been shown to enhance function of stunned myocardium in experimental studies, and in a few clinical studies, calcium channel blockers have been shown to ameliorate stunning. Although brief periods of ischemia can contribute to prolonged left ventricular dysfunction and even heart failure, they paradoxically play a cardioprotective role. Episodes of ischemia as short as 5 minutes, followed by reperfusion, protect the heart from a subsequent longer coronary artery occlusion by markedly reducing the amount of necrosis that results from the test episode of ischemia. This phenomenon, called ischemic preconditioning, has been observed in virtually every species in which it has been studied and is a powerful cardioprotective effect. The mechanism of ischemic preconditioning involves both triggers and mediators and involves complex second messenger pathways that appear to involve such components as adenosine, adenosine receptors, the epsilon isoform of protein kinase C, the ATP-dependent potassium channels, as well as others, including a paradoxical protective role of oxygen radicals. Both an early and a late phase of preconditioning have been described, and the mechanisms underlying their induction are under investigation. That preconditioning may occur in humans is suggested by the observations that repetitive balloon inflations in the coronary artery are associated with progressively less chest pain, ST-segment elevation, lactate production, the protective effects of preinfarction angina, the anginal "warm-up phenomenon," and studies performed on human cardiac biopsies that show metabolic properties suggesting preconditioning. Development of pharmacological agents that stimulate second messenger pathways thought to be involved in preconditioning, but without causing ischemia, could result in novel approaches to treating ischemia. Hence, on one hand, brief episodes of ischemia can have a negative effect on the heart: stunning; and on the other hand, they have a protective effect: preconditioning. The future challenge is how to minimize the stunning phenomenon and maximize the preconditioning phenomenon in clinical practice. (Circulation. 2001;104:3158-3167.)
doi:10.1161/hc5001.100039 pmid:11748117 fatcat:ro4bzwt43bc35d4votdealgd4e